What Am I Going To Do With My Life?
By Jillian Bietz
Unfortunately, this age old question has no universal answer. But there are a few things you can do to jumpstart the search!
-Make a list of things you like to do or are interested in learning about, no matter how mundane or simple or obscure they might be.
-Check out http://www.acinet.org/ to learn more about potential careers. This website describes various careers and includes information on salary, needed skills, etc.
-Read books and magazines on topics that interest you.
-Subscribe to podcasts and blogs. Learning more about your desired interests and potential careers may inspire you, or help you realize it’s not really what you want to do after all.
-Think about what you love and what your talents are. For example, perhaps you like helping others or expressing yourself creatively. However, you are dead set on being a pre-med student. Why though? Because it pays a lot? Because it is impressive to friends and family? If you are not happy, those things won’t matter.
-Take a career aptitude test. Try http://www.personalitypage.com/careers.html which provides potential careers based on various personality-based questions.
-Enroll in some free online classes on any topic that interested you. Schools like Yale, MIT Princeton and Berkeley offer various free courses that can be downloaded as podcasts on ITunesU or streamed online. Check out ITunesU, http://www.ocwconsortium.org/ and http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses to get started
– Identify your career anchors. Dr. Edgar Schein states that there are eight career “anchors” which correlate to a set of characteristics. By determining which “anchor” fits you best, this assessment may help you determine potential careers. http://rapidbi.com/careeranchors/
-Determine your decision-making style before making a decision.
Ultimately, whatever you do, realize that very few people wake up one day and discover their “true calling.” For some it takes years. That’s okay. Take it from Oprah, who says: “Start embracing the life that is calling you. Find your calling,know what sparks the light in you so you in your own way,can illuminate the world.”
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