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Does it just come to you on what you want to do with the rest of you life like deciding at 17 what major to spend money on and where may I ask how you came to that decision ?

I know I would like to help people and have a passion for that but I am not certain how to proceed with that. I am on the human service pathway at my school right now and may be interested in teaching , child life specialist , occupational therapy and am willing to explore anything !

Thank you comment icon Hello Jocelyn, many individuals are fortunate enough to discover their passions early on, and if you're one of them, that's fantastic! If you've already identified what sparks joy and excitement in you, I wholeheartedly encourage you to chase that dream. It's quite rare for people, especially young ones, to pinpoint their true calling. Many spend their entire college years in search of it. So, if you've found yours, you're ahead of the game. I wish you all the best on your journey! Bonnie Garza

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Subject: Career question for you

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Linda’s Answer

Well Jocelyn you answered your own question ( willing to explore anything) is really how you discover your abilities and passions. You stay open to possibilities and present to the small nuances that grab your attention and you will find and refine the career that will make you happy. We spend a great deal of our lives, most of it in fact, working so it is imperative that you love what you do. I was very lucky, I had no choice and have been driven by design from the first thought of who I am and what do I want to leave as an improvement , an asset and contribution for the world around me. On my journey I have found so many avenues of interest I could choose from to expand my craft and abilities . I never followed in anyone's footsteps and created my own way and essential to my quest to love what I was doing. This has lead to a happy life spent. I wish this for you in your search.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you like helping people and children.
Below are my suggestions:
1. Would you like to be a kindergarten or primary school teacher, children psychologist, speech language therapist, social worker, etc. You can find out more online
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counselor, your parents, etc
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue
5. Explore the entry criteria of relevant subjects in colleges
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
May Almighty God bless you!
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Jessica’s Answer

I'm currently 35 years old and I still am deciding what I want to be when I grow up! I think one of the pitfalls of being a constant learner is that you just enjoy knowing anything you can, so one certain career path seems almost boring?

My recommendation is to continue doing what makes you most happy/fulfills you, enjoy life as a teenager, make good decisions, meet and network with as many people as you can and you'll find what you want to do.
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Ashlee’s Answer

It definitely doesn't always come all at once, and for me it was much later than 17! When I started college (age 18) I was an education major, planning to become a teacher. That was what I thought I had wanted to do my entire life. When I stepped foot into my first classroom as part of my "Field Experience" coursework, it took me maybe 3 days to know that I had made a big mistake and had NO desire to be a teacher.

I changed my major 3 times in college, and even after graduating with a Bachelors degree in English, I did absolutely nothing in that field.

I eventually found my way (via a very circuitous and indirect path) to the telecommunications industry, and a career in project management. Surprisingly, it was not my coursework in college, but my extra-curricular involvement that made me realize my passion had always kind of been project management in a way. I love planning, organizing, scheduling, and overseeing events. Event planning or coordination could have been an option, but so many events are on weekends and I love my weekends. For me, finding my way to telecom project management was pure joy for me, because I found a way to incorporate the skills and passions that I had into projects that kept my work centered on a M-F schedule keeping my nights and weekends free for family, friends, and hobbies.

Don't be afraid to try new things, ask if you can sit in and observe classes you might have interest in but aren't ready to fully commit to. I also encourage you see if your school has a guidance counselor or career services office that you could set an appointment with to explore some different options with them.
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Jennifer’s Answer

When I first stepped into college, I was uncertain about my career trajectory. I opted for a degree that could open doors in numerous fields - Business. It's important to remember that many students start college with a specific major, but as they discover a range of interests, they often modify their initial choice.
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Caroline’s Answer

A career choice is very much inspired at different times for everyone. For me, it just, as you say, "came on" at a very, very young age. I had two epiphanies and managed to participate in two careers. My first intuitive experience was when I was six years old and my aunt took me to the movie theatre to see the film, "A Patch of Blue". I loved it and all I kept thinking while I was sitting there was, "Wow - this is what I have to do when I grow up! Wow !" I was always outgoing and animated as a kid, yet I decided it would be best for me for many reasons to start training for acting when I was 18.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Jocelyn !

A career choice is very much inspired at different times for everyone. For me, it just, as you say, "came on" at a very, very young age. I had two epiphanies and managed to participate in two careers. My first intuitive experience was when I was six years old and my aunt took me to the movie theatre to see the film, "A Patch of Blue". I loved it and all I kept thinking while I was sitting there was, "Wow - this is what I have to do when I grow up! Wow !" I was always outgoing and animated as a kid, yet I decided it would be best for me for many reasons to start training for acting when I was 18.

The second revelation came to me when I was thirteen. My sister and my mother were in college and they had many psychology and sociology books in the house. I would read them and it touched me that this is such a necessary subject because we all have behavior, we all have experiences, we all have brains and we all need someone to talk with. So when I was sixteen, I became a volunteer peer counselor on the days I didn't work at my part time job. I loved it, but that was put on the back burner. Acting was still my number one future goal. In college I was a Theatre Major and minored in Social Science and began my acting career after getting my Bachelors in Theatre. After many years, I transitioned to a career in social services, but now back in the acting career once more.

You just never know the course your professional life will take. Each door that opens is sometimes a surprise and a very exciting venture. If you follow what you love, you can pursue your dreams and make it real. If you haven't decided yet, take your time and do not feel that you must rush things. A good way to explore and confirm what you'd like to do would be to do volunteer work. I would highly suggest volunteering for an Independent Living Center and I have left a link for information about this below. At an Independent Living Center, you can help clients with assistance for applying for benefits, peer counseling (would be for teens in your age range), support in the office, helping people move into their new apartment by being a supportive companion . This office serves people that have a disability (usually both physical and/or mental health) and you can be such a positive help for these type of centers. Read their whole website and it will surely inspire you.

Some names of agencies where you live that you can apply for volunteer work are Volunteer Now, Attitudes and Attire (they provide clothing, accessories and personal care items to clients), Jewish Family Services of Greater Dallas, Capital for Kids which provides financial assistance to families that have a child with a life threatening illness. You can volunteer there doing fundraising, event planning and administrative support. There is also Your Discovery Place which serves individuals with developmental disabilities and you can volunteer as a direct services worker there. I have left some referral links to possible places for volunteer work. I have also left a link to a good article that talks about how to choose a career.

My advice is to just get as much life experience as you can, participate in all that you love doing and know that you will one day realize how you would like to contribute to your community and the world. Give it time and you will see it.

Best wishes to you in all you do !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTERS FOR VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES https://www.hhs.texas.gov/services/disability/independent-living-services
WHERE TO VOLUNTEER YEAR ROUND IN DALLAS https://www.dallasites101.com/blog/post/where-to-volunteer-year-round-in-dallas/
VOLUNTEERING IN DALLAS HOSPITALS https://www.methodisthealthsystem.org/giving/volunteers/
TEEN LIFE'S LIST OF PLACES TO VOLUNTEER IN DALLAS (THIS IS A GREAT LIST, IMO) https://www.teenlife.com/category/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities-dallas/
ARTICLE AT THE BALANCE WEBSITE ON HOW TO CHOOSE A CAREER https://www.thebalancemoney.com/how-to-choose-a-career-when-you-are-interested-in-everything-4114047
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Jocelyn,

Once upon a time, my dreams were filled with stars and galaxies, but life had other plans. My uncle, a mere 38 years old, was claimed by a heart attack. Following his death, his boss, academic supervisor, and mentor, Professor Colin Masters, an esteemed biochemistry lecturer, joined our university. This unexpected turn of events led me to exchange my physics major for a deep dive into the world of biological chemistry.

Tragedy struck again when my father, too, fell victim to heart disease at the age of 50. Despite the best efforts of the medical professionals, they couldn't save him. This experience left me disillusioned with the medical field, and I decided not to pursue a career in medicine. Instead, I shifted my focus to nutrition and dietetics, earning a postgraduate diploma in the field. By 1988, I was a fully-fledged dietitian. Although I couldn't help my loved ones, I found solace in assisting thousands of patients over the next 35 years.

One of these patients requested a 2-week meal plan, a departure from the typical one-day sample menus usually provided by dietitians. The client said that she was not good at planning the other 13 days with a food group exchange list. For example, eat 5 bread/cereal food group selections a day, 3 fruit selections, 3 teaspoons fats like margarine, 4 meat/protein serves, 3 dairy, etcetera

Leveraging my high school computer programming skills, I took on the challenge. In 1994, I began developing a food menu-generating software, merging QBasic programming with nutrition education. My days were filled with patient consultations, and my nights with coding.

Enter DIET WIZARD
Nutrition Education At Its Best

Experience a career or profession firsthand before you can truly know if it's the right fit for you.

THE MACHINE ANSWERS:

Deciding on a Career Path: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction

Deciding on a career path is a significant decision that requires careful thought and self-exploration. It’s essential to identify your interests, values, and skills to choose a major and a career that will be fulfilling and rewarding. In this answer, we will provide Jocelyn with a comprehensive guide on how to decide on a career path, using her interests and passion for helping people as a starting point.

Identifying Your Interests and Values

The first step in deciding on a career path is to identify your interests and values. Jocelyn has already identified that she wants to help people, which is an excellent starting point. Here are some steps she can take to further explore her interests and values:

Take career assessments: Career assessments can help Jocelyn identify her strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values. These assessments can provide insights into the types of careers that would be a good fit for her.

Research careers: Jocelyn should research careers that align with her interests and values. She can use online resources, books, and career counselors to learn more about different careers.

Shadow professionals: Jocelyn can shadow professionals in the fields she is interested in to get a better understanding of what a typical day looks like and whether she would enjoy the work.

Exploring Career Options

Once Jocelyn has identified her interests and values, she can start exploring career options. Here are some careers that align with her interest in helping people:

Teaching

Teaching is a rewarding career that allows you to make a difference in the lives of students. As a teacher, Jocelyn could work in a variety of settings, including public schools, private schools, and colleges. She could also specialize in a particular subject, such as math, science, or English.

Child Life Specialist

A child life specialist works with children and families in hospitals and other healthcare settings. They help children cope with medical procedures and provide support to families. This career requires a degree in child life or a related field.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a healthcare profession that helps people of all ages develop, recover, and maintain the skills needed for daily living and working. Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, and private practices. This career requires a degree in occupational therapy.

Choosing a Major

Once Jocelyn has identified a few career options that interest her, she can start thinking about choosing a major. Here are some factors to consider:

Requirements for the career: Different careers have different educational requirements. Jocelyn should research the educational requirements for her chosen career and choose a major that will help her meet those requirements.

Interest and passion: Jocelyn should choose a major that aligns with her interests and passions. This will help her stay motivated and engaged in her studies.

Cost and time: Jocelyn should consider the cost and time required to complete a particular major. She should choose a major that is affordable and can be completed in a reasonable amount of time.

Making a Decision

Deciding on a career path can be a difficult decision, but it’s important to remember that it’s not set in stone. Jocelyn can always change her mind and explore different career options. Here are some steps she can take to make a decision:

Make a list of pros and cons: Jocelyn should make a list of pros and cons for each career option she is considering. This will help her see the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Talk to professionals: Jocelyn should talk to professionals in the fields she is considering. They can provide insights into the day-to-day work and help Jocelyn make an informed decision.

Trust your gut: Ultimately, Jocelyn should trust her gut and choose the career path that feels right for her.

Conclusion

Deciding on a career path is a significant decision, but it’s one that Jocelyn can make with careful thought and self-exploration. By identifying her interests and values, exploring career options, choosing a major, and making a decision, Jocelyn can find a career that is fulfilling and rewarding.

Authoritative References Used:

National Center for O*NET Development
Bureau of Labor Statistics
My Next Move
God Bless,
JC.
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Ebonee’s Answer

Hello Jocelyn!

Your question is absolutely fantastic! Just like you, I was 17 when I completed high school. My school was a specialist one with a medical program, and for the longest time, I was convinced that I wanted to be an obstetrician. So, I chose to major in Biology with a focus on Pre-Medicine in college. However, by the end of my sophomore year, I found my interests shifting. I wanted to be more involved in patient advocacy. So, I decided to become a certified medical assistant and aimed to get into nursing school.

Meanwhile, I started working as a supervisor for an insurance company while still in school. It was here that I discovered the joy of coaching and developing people. The happiness I derived from making a difference in people's lives was unparalleled. Ultimately, what mattered most to me was having a career that I was truly passionate about, one that brought me immense joy. So, in the end, I didn't pursue a career in medicine, but instead, I built a rewarding career in business management.

So, Jocelyn, it's absolutely fine if you're unsure about your career path at 17. Concentrate on your general requirements during your first year and give yourself the space to discover what truly inspires you. Relish the process of choosing the right career for yourself. I'm cheering for you as you embark on this exciting journey!
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Annah’s Answer

Jocelyn, at 17 all I knew is that I liked art. Some people have a stronger sense for themselves than others regarding a specific career. In terms of money, school is an expense. It is wise to be thinking about this. Consider scholarships, attending two years of community college before transferring to a 4-year program, and attending an in-state school. Consider getting some real-life experience before even applying to college. Europeans and people from Australia and New Zealand often take a gap year after high school. This typically involves travel abroad. If you like the outdoors, Wwoofing is a cool way to experience farming (wwoof.net). If you like children, you might become an Au-pair. As college costs rise, I do believe it is crucial for students to know a little bit about what they want to study or do in life. And yet, the first year will be spent taking all the foundational classes. This will guide you in choosing a major and minor of study. There are amazing technical schools where you can learn skills that will directly lead to a specific job- such as Vet Tech, trade position (construction, plumbing, electrical), dental hygiene, pastry chef, etc. Such positions can be lucrative. I am a big believer in experience- getting out into your community, volunteering, seeking mentorship, exploring your local library, meeting with a career coach or guidance counselor are just some ways to pinpoint next steps. My own trajectory was long and winding. I worked with artists, nannied, worked as a flight attendant, dabbled in baking, and then after many years working attended graduate school. What drew me to being an art therapist- my own experience as a patient, wanting to combine my love of art with a desire to help others, wanting a career that can take me into retirement and one that will require ongoing study and learning. Since you lean towards human services look into psychology, social work/social services, education and child development. Child life is not offered at most undergraduate schools. If you want to study this, you will need to plan ahead. Go online and look at schools to see what degrees they have available. You might learn about something new that incorporates your interests. Trust your instincts and make this period of exploration enjoyable! Even now I continue to pursue ideas and side-projects that might someday become full-time work. I have learned perfect does not exist and to find satisfaction in the "good enough." It can be tricky to narrow down interests, especially when there are a lot of them! Be brave, step outside your comfort zone, do some digging (research), and keep asking questions.
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