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Amber Hendrickson

Choosing a career can be difficult, especially because there is so much out there you just don’t know yet. The best way to choose a starter career (because within 5 years you probably won’t be in that career field anymore) is to answer the questions below and take a look at places like O’Net for career ideas. If you find some that interest you, find people working in that field and ask them for an information interview – and pick their brain about what they like/wish was different, how to get started, how long it took them to get to where they are, what skills they recommend you build while in college, etc. This will provide you with the insider information you need to make an informed choice.

This takes time and effort, but will be pay off in the long run. And know that it is normal to get into a career and after a couple years switch to a different one because you discover a new interest/passion or realize that the one you picked isn’t the best fit. So don’t stress too much over picking a career, it’s likely to change with experience.

Here are some questions to help you figure out where you might find the best fit:
1) Have you taken a personality or learning style test (DISC, Strengthfinders, etc.)? Those tests may not be exact, but they provide valuable insight into what makes you tick.
2) What are you interested in, like to learn/do/practice in your spare time? This may not be something you want to do full-time, but if your activities are within a specific theme, you can narrow down the options.
3) Are you an active person who despises sitting still or could you spend hours on the computer without even realizing it? This makes a big difference long-term. If you need to be constantly interacting with people, I wouldn’t recommend a traditional Accounting job, which typically involves a lot of pushing papers and very little interactions.
4) What kind of environment do you want in your work? Sitting in a cubicle and doing your work without lots of interruption or in a position where you are always interacting with people? Some people thrive in constant change while others a barely able to survive the day.
5) Is school difficult for you or has it been a cake-walk? Do you want to get something and get out as fast as possible? If school has always been difficult and you really aren’t excited about spending another four years in a desk, you might want to consider going for an associates or a certification program.

Answered 2 years ago

Amber Hendrickson