Advice For Choosing a Career

What do you want to be when you grow up? What college do you want to go to? These are related questions, and if you still don't know the answer to either question, don't worry - you're not alone. Everyone considering college has the same questions.

You're not required to have your career mapped out to start your college search, but as you are filling out those college applications, you should definitely be thinking about your career path in order to make the most of your college years. Try these steps to get started.

Take An Honest Look in the Mirror.

What kind of personality do you have, and what type of work will keep you happy and satisfied?

Look at your hobbies and interests.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Do your hobbies provide you with creative outlets, or do you prefer competition? Maybe your hobbies allow for opportunities to help others. Look for a career that can give you that same satisfaction.

What do you do well?

Is math your thing? Is writing your passion? Are there subjects in school that you breeze through? A career that uses your natural abilities will be more fulfilling.

Take a personality assessment.

You may need some help figuring out the type of work you're best suited for. Talk to a career counselor or take a self-assessment test. If you are still in high school, ask your counselor if the school offers any self-assessment tests.

Learn What's Out There.

There are more career options out there than you can imagine. Learn about as many as possible to help pinpoint the one for you.

Talk to friends and family.

Ask anyone and everyone you know about what they do. Do they like what they do? What is it that they like? Do they hate it? What do they hate? How did they get started in their career? What is their average day like? What does it take to be successful in their field?

Browse college course catalogs and degree programs.

Treated properly, the college admissions process can help you narrow your career focus. As you are completing applications, look at the available majors and see what sparks your interest. Note what classes are required for different degree programs and get a feel for the knowledge and training you'll need. You may also want to look at vocational colleges or vocational classes.

Pick your electives wisely.

Electives are a great way to explore areas you may not have thought about before starting college. Use your elective requirements to explore careers that may interest you. Look for classes with "Intro" or "101" in the title.

Give Yourself Some Flexibility.

Don't feel pressured to decide today what you are going to do the rest of your life. Take the time to make the right decision.

Relax.

Choosing a career is an important decision, but it's probably not a permanent one. Statistics show the average American changes careers several times over the course of their life. Find a career that feels right for you now, but recognize as you grow and change, your career goals are likely to change as well.

Keep your options open. If you are like most students, you'll change majors at least once before college graduation. Think about that when choosing your college. Choose one with several degree programs that interest you in case you change your mind.

I want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to go to college. This means getting in, finding the right college fit and paying for school. I love to share what I've learned and I hope you can find some useful information useful in your college search.
 

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