Do you have the feeling that everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up? I think there is a lot of pressure out there, from the time you are around the age 3 or 4, and adults have asked you what you want to do when you grow up. Truth be told, most people are not ready to make those decisions before they get to be around age 21-24.

Wait what? 21-24? I am supposed to be done with my college days and have started the daily grind of work by then! Which is why many students start college and then drop out, and work for a few years where they begin to find themselves and make decisions about their values and personality. However, you don’t have to be lost at college even if you don’t know what you want to do just yet!

Academic and Career Advisors Can Help You

One of the first things I can recommend is working closely with your Career and Academic Advisors. Most advisors will tell you getting the “hard” stuff out of the way first increases your chance of success, so yes, take that math and take that English class. Next, schedule an appointment with the Career Success Center on your campus. We will talk with you about your interests, personality, values and skills, and help you start learning about potential career choices. Even if you don’t figure it out that first or second semester, just exploring and learning more will give you some ideas.

Informational Interviews and Assessments Help You

Reaching out to professionals in fields that you want to learn more about will only help you learn about your likes and dislikes. Many people list money as their #1 value, but after learning about other values realize that money is important, but maybe not as important as they though at the expense of their other values. Most people will leave a career if it doesn’t fit their values and will be dissatisfied (in 2014, Forbes Reported that 52.3% of workers were dissatisfied with their work). Honing in on those values is essential and the Career Success Center can help by assessing your interests, strengths, and values.

Assessments (NOT tests) help us guide and narrow down your choices. Once the assessment is done, you’ll be more prepared to do some basic research with online career resources to learn more about the careers you are targeting.

Learn About Yourself

College can be new and exciting, and not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up even at 50. Expand yourself throughout college, explore new things, join a club, do an internship, these all help us shape what we want to do, and give us experience along the way. Don’t be hard on yourself, use college to learn about yourself and guide your path. Finally, learn how to market yourself for the future by documenting what you have done. This will help you in your future career choices. We look forward to seeing you at the Career Success Center!

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