One of the most daunting tasks that kids are asked to do is to choose a career path. The weight of the world gets put on their shoulders, and they feel like they are deciding their lives. Yes, it’s important and the decision should have some thought behind it, but it’s not set in stone. You may not even know that your dream job exists! That’s why you have to do some research, and ask plenty of questions to try and find the right path for you.
- Know Who You Are: Our personalities are all unique, and are all geared towards different positions. Take a personality test to help guide you as you look for a career path. Myers Briggs and other tests can help you see what natural gifts and talents you have, so you can align them better with a profession.
What do you like to do?
Some people love detail, others get lost in it. Some people love to talk, and others want to work alone. Some people love design, while others are fascinated by mechanics. Explore whatever it is that you are naturally drawn to. If you’ve always enjoyed the live surgery TV shows, then consider a profession in the medical field
What is important to you?
Think about what passions you have. Do you love animals? Do you want to care and nurture the young minds? Maybe you want to help people wisely invest their money. Figure out what is most important to you, and find a way to fulfil that in your job.
2. Money Isn’t Everything, But You Need To Eat: A big motivator for college kids looking at career paths is the money and status that go with the job. Everyone wants to be paid handsomely for the work that they do, and to be well recognized for it. If this lines up with your personality and the things that you find important, then that’s excellent. But–money isn’t everything. If you are solely choosing a profession based upon the average annual salary that they receive, then you are looking at it the wrong way. You’re going to be doing this job for the majority of your day every day until you retire. Make sure it’s something that you enjoy and will make you feel fulfilled as a person.
3. Get Experience: Before you declare your major and start down a career path, take some time to shadow someone in that field. Get some first hand experience to see if it really is something that fits well with you.
4. Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions, even if you think that they are dumb. If you never ask, then you’ll never know. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and ask, than to assume and be wrong. When talking with someone in the profession that you are interested in ask questions like, “What do you love most about your job?” or “What are some of the downsides to this job?” so that you get a better picture of what the day-to-day position really looks like.
5. Have A Plan: Before you take four years of Philosophy classes, know what you are going to do afterwards with the degree. With certain degrees that are more abstract, usually you need to go on to a Masters or Doctorate program before finding a viable job in that field. Have an idea or a goal job in mind to help guide you through your educational career.
6. Be Flexible: If you find out three years into school that you absolutely can’t stand what you are studying, then change your plan. Don’t settle for being miserable. It’s good to have a goal in mind, but give yourself the freedom to change direction if you need to.
Don’t become overwhelmed with the process. It’s meant to build you up and give you confidence for when you enter the workforce. No matter what you study, knowledge is never wasted. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, but at the same time, don’t get in your head about it. No matter what, there will be something that you like and dislike with every position. You’ll have good days and bad days, even in your dream job. Stick with it!