How To Choose The Right Career

Sometimes in college it seems that the goal of the whole thing is to get a degree and find a good job.

Problem is, how do you know what a “good job” is, let alone how to find one. Thought patterns like this can get pretty overwhelming, and it becomes disheartening.

For some people, their future career is a no brainer, an idea they’ve had in their mind since they were four years old.

For others, it’s between a few things, and still others have really no idea what they’re going to do with their lives after college.

But don’t fret! Despite what you’ve heard your entire life, it’s okay not to know what you want to go into and how to choose the right career. That’s what college is for!

Discovering what you like and don’t like, and choosing a career you’re passionate about is a process.

Below, we offer a few tips for those still struggling to come up with a career path for themselves.

If you know exactly what career you’re interested in…

  • That’s great!

Start taking classes in the area you’re interested, and choose a college major that suits your future career needs. However, don’t become completely blinded to other ideas or opportunities. Just because you’ve wanted to be a teacher forever doesn’t mean you can’t shop around a little before you settle into your decision.

And if you start taking classes in your intended field and discover that maybe it’s not really for you, don’t sweat it! It’s difficult to know exactly what you want to do with your entire life and how to choose the right career before ever even trying it out.

Just because you think you’ve decided for good that you want to do something is no reason to stay in a major and a career that you don’t truly love. Most college students change their minds about these things around 2 or 3 times during their college career. Regardless, keep taking classes in your field and discovering what you like and don’t like.

If you have it sort of narrowed down…

  • Not too shabby.

If you’ve got the list of possible careers narrowed down to a handful, then take classes in all the areas. A little hands on practice, and learning more about the field and what it takes to work the job will help make it easier for you to decide what you truly want to do with your time and talents.

This is really an optimal spot, especially for freshman just starting out in college. This way you’re not tied down to something, whether it be what you or your family has decided is best for you, but you’re not completely at a loss either.

Just keep your mind open, talk to people in those careers, study, get information – an answer will present itself sooner or later.

If you really have no clue…

  • Don’t freak out!

College is for exploring and discovering, like I said earlier. If you’re completely at a loss for how to choose the right career, start by taking some general classes.

Just sign up for whatever sounds interesting (just make sure it all works into your schedule or you might end up graduating later than intended). Think about the things that you enjoy doing, are passionate about, or excel in. A combination of these attributes makes for a great career path!

You can always talk to a career counselor at your school, and many schools offer career placement tests and interest inventory evaluations that can help steer you in the right direction or give you some suggestions that you may not have thought of before.

Just keep calm and do some rational thinking. Don’t rush into any decision because you feel pressed for time. Most Americans end up switching careers a few times in their lifetime; nothing is written in stone!

Remember, in the end it all comes down to doing things that you’re passionate about, and what you enjoy. Take it slow, do your homework, and above all, love what you do!

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Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson is a freshman at Central Michigan University, currently pursuing a degree in Journalism. Elizabeth is a member of the CMU Honors Program, and is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life, the student run campus newspaper. When she’s not in school, she can usually be found reading, writing, or watching movies, and enjoys traveling and performing in plays.
Elizabeth Benson

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One Response to “How To Choose The Right Career”

  • Nina

    Nina on January 28, 2013

    This is a great article! It reminds students that if they don’t really know what career they want yet, it’s totally okay and that they’re not alone. I definitely have an idea of what I want to do but I don’t have it all figured out yet so I definitely found this comforting. You’ve given great advice on what to do in all kinds of situations and I can see it being very helpful to other students!

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