So you’re heading off to college, or maybe you’re a couple years into college right now, and you’re still not sure what you want to be when you “grow up.” Is being indecisive about your career choice something to worry about? Probably not.
Here’s some good news: career indecision is normal. It even happens to us old folks who have their feet firmly planted on the career path we’ve chosen. There will always be turns and twists in the road. Some are the gradual, barely-have-to-turn-your-wheel kind of turns and others are the sharp-left-at-the-flashing-red-light kind of turns. Right now, you’re idle in your car staring at the open road. It’s inviting, but you’re not sure where it leads or if you’ll be happy about the destination you choose. So what should you do?
1. Everyone Says Go to the Beach, but You Hate Sand and Can’t Swim
One way to get over the stress of career indecision is to let go of others’ expectations. You will only succeed in a career that suits your interests and talents. If you can find joy in your work you’ll probably experience more success than the average working Joe. Your direction should not be determined by friends or family or solely by which careers pay the most or statistically have the best outlook for employment. You’re going to be the only one on this trip, so pick the place you’d like to go.
2. Become Your Own Travel Agent
Now that you’ve decided to book your own destination, you’ll need to gather some information. Narrow it down to a few possibilities. When most people think about taking a trip they narrow it down to a general type or area: the tropics, the mountains, entertainment locations, maybe a foreign excursion. What are you interested in? Health care, business, communications, education, technology? Start finding out what careers exist in your area of interest and then begin researching them by:
• Getting a Map – what does it take to get there? The road consists of the courses you’ll need to take, possible certifications, internships, and maybe even additional degrees. Read industry publications and visit web sites to find out what employers are looking for and then decide if you are willing to follow this route in order to arrive at this particular career destination.
• Reading Reviews – what do other people say about this career? Do you know anyone who has chosen to travel this road? Talk to them, even shadow them on the job if possible. A good decision is based on good, solid information. Your college career center can help you as well.
• Taking a Mini-Trip – rather than planning, paying up front, and booking your trip to Pebble Beach, why not try out your skills on the local golf course first? Heck, even if it’s just a miniature golf course you’ll know whether you like to hold a putter and chase a ball around for hours. Let’s say you want to work in health care. Get a part-time job, summer job, or even volunteer in a nursing home, hospital, or any medical establishment. Even if you’re just shuffling papers, you’ll experience the atmosphere and to talk professionals as they do their jobs. If you do decide to take this direction, the experience will look great on your resume.
3. Remember, It’s Your First Big Trip, but it Won’t Be Your Last
Realize that this is your first big decision, but it doesn’t have to be your last. Plenty of people work in fields that have nothing to do with the major they chose in college. Many more begin working in one field and find themselves diverted to another. Life is full of surprises, changes, and big decisions. It’s unpredictable. But sometimes you just have to choose a direction or you’ll find yourself just sitting in a parked car watching all the other drivers pass by. If you know what you’re good at and you know what you enjoy and you’ve taken the time to research possible destinations, you should feel confident that you’ve done your planning and you’ll be successful in making the right choice. Let your anxiety and doubts melt away! After all, you’re in the driver’s seat, you see the wide open road, and you’re heading out on an incredible journey! Lucky you! VROOM! VROOM!
If you found the previous article informative, you should check out more goodies in our college life section, or read some of these articles below:
- Back to School Savings (The Underground Way)
- Affordable Textbooks
- Scholarships, Your Ticket to College
- Finding the Right College or Univeristy
- Save Your money (or your parents money, you lazy bum)
- Study Tips
- College Social Life
- Dealing With Professors
- Deceptive Practices by Credit Card Companies on Campus
- 18 of the Weirdest Scholarships for College
- Bullshit Your Way to an “A”
You can also submit your articles for fame and fortune (without the fame or fortune) by contacting us..