According to the Division of Undergraduate Studies of Penn State, 20 to 50% of high schoolers enter college having no idea what major to choose. And even among those who know what specialization to opt for, there are ones that base their choice not on their academic strengths but rather on advice, the popularity of the field of study, and other non-relevant aspects.
Pretty sad, don’t you think?
The thing is that students have changed the principle of making this decision, and since now they want to choose professions that would keep them happy, they often cannot make up their mind on what exactly they’re to focus on.
According to the research conducted by Maclean’s, most young people (92%) choose their career path based on their personal interest and future employment opportunities.
However, if you’re on the crossroad right now, having no idea what the correct way to choose your career is, then read on and see what professionals say about this:
- Get out of the classroom.
It’s almost impossible to know exactly what you want while you’re sitting at your desk in the classroom. All the career paths seem so surreal while you’re dealing with homework.
So, what we suggest is getting out of the classroom and taking some internship. It doesn’t have to be very well-paid or too prestigious (but we in no way oppose to this). Any real job experience will do.
The main goal behind this step is getting a sense of what real work is.
Therefore, if you’re thinking about choosing the career path of a lawyer, then see if there are openings in the small firms. Get your feet wet before you decide on an important thing like this.
- Decide whether you want to run your own business.
One thing is to make a decision on whether you want to work for someone in a certain niche, but it’s a completely different matter to understand whether being an entrepreneur is the right option for you.
You don’t want to bury your talent by working on someone else while you can easily start your own project and become one of the celebrities on the next Forbes edition (who knows how lucky you can get).
So, you might want to ask your friends for an opinion from the side or inspect your qualities on your own.
- Differentiate the childhood dream from real passion.
All kids wanted to be the greats. Some dreamt about performing on the stage, others about saving people’s lives.
But time’s passed, and you’ve changed a lot since then (some might say that you came to your senses since then). Only a few stick to their childhood dreams.
If you’re one of those who still want to pursue the childhood dream, then you need to look into this desire and see whether it’s your real passion or just an idea you got used to with time.
You don’t want to waste life and effort on pursuing the dream you no longer believe in.
- Define the financial goals.
Only half of the students look into this matter when choosing a career path. Why? We’re all adults here, and understand that even though we want to follow our passions, money we’re paid by our employers is what makes us wake up every morning and get out of our cozy home even if it’s a complete blizzard outside.
So, you need to realize what your financial expectations are. If money isn’t an issue for you, then you can opt for almost any career path you’re passionate about and enjoy making a difference there.
- Realize your strengths.
It’d be really odd to pursue the ballerina career if you have no sense of rhythm whatsoever or choose the nursing school if you faint every time you see a needle.
Therefore, you need to focus on your strengths and talents.
It’s not the time to shy away, and beat yourself up with statements like “I’m not special” and “I have no talents.” You do have some, and you know it.
- Stick to your values.
No matter what job you choose, you need to stay true to yourself. Do not choose careers that’ll make you feel embarrassed for doing what you’re doing.
Remember that you’ll spend at least one-third of your life working. So, isn’t it better to do something you love instead of constantly checking your watch to make sure that the end of the working day is approaching?
So, take your values into account.
- Have a backup plan.
Finally, as you see, we support the idea of following your dreams and passions (smartly, though). However, following dreams always means undertaking certain risks.
So, if you want to make one of your childhood dreams come true, you need to estimate the risks that come with it and create a backup plan to support you in case something goes wrong.
Do not let people make you forget about your dreams, but be smart about them, and always be ready to leave the failures behind and move forward.
It feels like you need to take a lot of different things into consideration. According to the Business Insider, people spend around 90,000 hours at work in their life. That’s a significant amount of time to be taken seriously.
Besides, 13 million working days are spent by employees at home because they cannot deal with stress in the office properly. If you don’t want to waste a day of your life dealing with job-related stress, you need to choose your career properly from the beginning.
And finally, here’s inspiration from Steve Jobs: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”