How Do I Choose a Career That is Right for Me?

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Gabby Landis, Staff Writer

High school can be incredibly stressful for many reasons, but a huge source of stress I have noticed among my peers is the fear of the unknown. Specifically, the fear of not finding a -perfect- career that will bring them not only financial stability but also happiness. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. I can help you discover what type of career you would fit into the best based on your passions and talents. 


I’d like to preface this by saying that you DO NOT need to know what you want to be in high school. If you’re really unsure about what you want, college gen ed classes are a great way to take lots of cool classes that interest you, and it’s a great way to narrow your choices down.

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However, if you would like to get a feel for what you could do as a career in your lifetime, Forbes affirms my first suggestion, which is to take a career assessment. These can be great indicators of what you would do best in, as they typically take into account what your personality is like, how you prefer to do work (i.e. hands on or more thought based), and what your interests are. The Muse has put together a list of thirteen career quizzes and tests for you guys, which you can find here.


After taking a quiz or two, it is a good idea to make a list of all the options that interest you. When you are finished with this, Forbes suggests looking for overlap on the list and seeing what careers require similar skills. This could help you organize which jobs that share required skills fit your skill set better.


Forbes then recommends to network by contacting people you know in that field and asking them for advice. It is a great idea to network because then you are able to get your name out there and have connections with higher ups in your desired industry, which is crucial for getting hired for a job down the road. One way you can do this is by creating a LinkedIn account, which is a social media platform that a lot of adult professionals use to communicate. You can also connect with professionals on other social media platforms by utilizing the direct message feature to ask people in your desired field questions about what it is like to work in the field. Volunteering or interning is also a great networking experience. If your parent or guardian knows someone in a field that interests you, it would be a good idea to reach out to them and ask if you can shadow them for a day.


You can also reach out to a mentor, like a parent or teacher, for advice on what to do. I know my parents know me inside and out, and they have been very helpful when helping me settle on what career I would like to pursue.


My suggestion to seniors who still do not know what to do and would rather try something else is to apply to college as an undecided major. Something I have noticed in a lot of virtual college information sessions is that the students hosting the event have switched their majors multiple times. You learn a lot about yourself in your first year of college, and in some colleges it can be difficult to switch your major. Applying undecided does not hurt your chances of getting in and is helpful if you have no idea what you want to do.


Also, definitely take advantage of your college’s career center. Career centers are great places to get advising on what career options are available to you after graduation, and at some schools they even help you land internships!


Another helpful tip is to pay attention to which subjects in school interest you the most. Is there a specific topic in a core class that makes you excited to learn? You can also look at what clubs you are involved in and see which ones you are the most passionate about. This is another good indicator of what careers you can pick that will suit your interests.


Whatever stage you are at in the career choosing process, just know that you are not alone. Many of us feel the same, and there is definitely a lot of pressure to make a choice, but do not let that get to you. Hopefully these tips will be helpful for those of you on the search for your perfect career!