We’re bombarded by messages all the time. This profession makes good money, that profession works long hours, this is good, the same thing is bad etc. There are so many opinions out there — but are these opinions framed in a way that’s truly beneficial for those who really need them?
Students today have guidance counselors, university visits, and access to the abundance of information on the internet to guide their career decisions. However a common sentiment is “I’m not sure.” If there’s all this information out there, why are students still lost?
Lack of real-world experiences
Some students have the privilege to be exposed to different people and experiences. They’re much more likely to understand what field they would like to do — because they’ve experienced more. It’s easy to know you never want to be a vet after interning at a vet’s office, because you get a comprehensive look at what it means to be a vet.
So, what should students do to be less lost?
1. Ask yourself questions
It all begins with you, internally. Believe that you have all the answers already, and they’re simply waiting to be found. What do you like to do you in your spare time? What brings you joy? What do you do purely because you enjoy it? What do you offer to help your friends do? What do you dread? What type of lifestyle do you want to live? Where do you want to live? Come up with a summary and find patterns. Discover multiple positions, in different fields that meet these patterns. For example, if you like talking to people, you could be a counsellor, talk show host, cashier, tutor, taxi driver, consultant… and a lot more.
Try it out. How do you know until you try? Keep evaluating yourself in the setting. You may hate it and be great at it, or be horrible at it but love it. Come up with some conclusions.
Network around. Ask others for their advice. What do they like? What don’t they like? What do they find to be challenging? What do they recommend? Is it the same for you?
4. Find your tribe
Similarly to the networking, find like-minded people and further develop yourself within an area. Realise you hate all the people around you? Time to switch to something else. Realise you’re the same as everyone else? Maybe it’s a good fit.
It’s a journey figuring it out, but know you’ll get a little less lost over time.