This article was written by Monica Woodhams for the HonorSociety.org Elevate e-magazine. This series features top featured writers from the HonorSociety.org writing program. The original article can be found here.
It’s not easy to figure out what career path is right for you. For many of us, we are expected to choose our path as 18 year olds going into college. After all this is when we choose our major which sets us up for the next 4 years and early years in our career.
Throughout college though, we grow and develop new interests and leave old ones behind. And that’s a good thing, but it can also leave us in a panic of trying to figure out what to do next. The following are exercises that you can do in order to start narrowing down your options and feel like your moving forward instead of feeling paralyzed in the unknown.
Make a list of your passions and hobbies and write down why
Make a list of all of your passions, hobbies, and things that you love to do and learn about. Let this be a brain dump. It doesn’t have to be everything that you’re currently doing. Include any past things that maybe you don’t have time for anymore. After you’ve made a list of everything that comes to mind, write down why you enjoy them and why they’re special to you. Get specific. The more specific you are, the more clarity and insight you are going to gain into what industry or position is best for you
Interview your friends and family
This may seem like an awkward activity at first, but trust me, the insight you gain is going to be priceless. Ask your friends and family if they could tell you the three things that they think you are best at. Then ask them what type of job they have always pictured you in. Encourage them to be as honest as possible. Many times our closest friends and family members see where our talents lie better than we see in ourselves. This is your chance to really explore how others believe you can best make an impact in the world.
Explore new classes
Not all of your electives need to be related to your major, especially if you have a feeling that your major isn’t the best fit. Take a look at the classes offered and if you see one that looks interesting, go for it even if it seems a little random or you think you might not be good at it. You never know why you feel that pull to learn about it and it could actually lead you to a major breakthrough. If you don’t have time in your schedule, search for the class online or if there are any free trainings out there on the subject.
Internships are a great way to gain clarity on what you do. Not only is it the perfect opportunity to learn about the industry you are interning yet, but it can also give you insight on the position within a company that is right for you. By internal exposure into a company, you will also learn about many jobs that you may have never even heard of that could actually end up being the perfect job for you.
This is a great time to dive into personal development and uncover more about yourself. When you learn more about yourself, you will also be able to gain greater insight into your purpose. Being clear on your purpose will lead you to the right direction when it comes to your career.