As more of my friends came to the realization that I work in an office titled Career & Internship Services, they suddenly became more apt to ask me the daunting question, ‘What should I do with my life?’. Although it is quite flattering that they were comfortable leaving their fate to my next words, it’s also unnerving. Leaving no room for mistakes, I always recommend they come in and talk to a counselor to find out more about majors, their personalities, and opportunities available to them. As I pondered the question more, I realized that there are simpler answers and steps. First of all, ask easier questions!
For any blog readers out there wondering what they should do with their life, I would recommend focusing on the now without being naïve about the future. Here are a few steps to take early on in college:
1. Take advantage of your liberal education! Not only are we required to take a variety of perfectly categorized courses in college, but we could learn more than the subject matter from them as well. Focus on classes that appeal to your academic interests. Upon finishing your first and second year, you should have a good idea of which subjects you liked more than others and this is a great indicator of which field you might like to end up in.
2. Be mindful of you. By taking assessments like the Strong Interest Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator you may not learn something new about yourself, but rather come to some sort of self-awareness. You could receive information that will help you realize what careers people are doing with the same personality types as yourself, what type of work environment you excel in, and much more.
3. Get involved. As a student on a college campus, you have more opportunities surrounding you than you have ever had before. There are student organizations for almost anything – from the Ricky Martin Appreciation Club to the Accounting Club. Doing things outside of the classroom can help with many things like networking, time management, and stress-relief. Likewise, in the future when you are applying for internships and full-time employment you will have an opportunity to expand on things that are of significance to you and the skills that you learned from being a part of a group. (If you didn’t know, communication skills are a must for employers!)
Yes, I have side-skipped the original question and yes, it was intentional. For those of you pondering what the future may hold, I’m sure you’ve realized there is not a simple answer to the question, “what should I do with my life?” Thankfully, there are small steps you can take now that will carry you far in deciding your career.