By Kimberly Thai -- February 11th, 2021
Prior to graduation, many students may feel pressured to declare a college major and consequently, a career path. Oftentimes, students see professionals and their peers able to identify a specific moment where they realized which career path they want to take; however, this picture-perfect scenario is not always a reality for many students.
1. Understand that this is normal.
If you’re unsure of what you want to do after you graduate college, chances are you are not alone. According to researchers at Pew, 61% of workers in the labor force have switched careers. That is six out of every ten people!
2. Consider your passions.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What are my strengths?
- What are some skills I hope to learn?
- What are my values and ethics?
- How much money do I want to earn?
- Where and how do I want to live?
- How much free time do I want to have?
Asking yourself these guiding questions may help narrow your search. Conducting an internet search that reflects your answers may help you identify prospective careers that fit your goals.
3. Create a list of prospective careers you are interested in.
After searching the internet for some leads, create a list of prospective careers you are interested in exploring. Additionally, target specific companies and organizations that can help you learn more about these careers.
4. Reach out to your peers, network, and professionals.
Networking is a great way to learn more about different career paths. Talk to your network, whether it’s your peers, professionals, or somebody in between, there is value in having conversations. Schedule time to chat about the different careers you are interested in, as well as other careers to learn more about prospective careers.
5. Explore different jobs, internships, and projects.
Take the plunge and apply for positions. The best way to find out whether a career is a good fit is to gain hands-on experience in the field. This way, you get a sneak peek into what life would be like in these industries. You will learn whether a career is the right fit for you while learning new skills and meeting new people.
6. Adjust your goals accordingly.
Enjoyed your internship? Great. Then that career might be for you.
Didn’t enjoy it? That’s okay too. At least you know now and can narrow your search.
So, wherever you are in the process of finding the right career path, these steps can help you solidify your wants and goals to steer you in the right direction.