Seek Advice When Choosing a Career

“I think I’ve found my calling!” exclaimed a young woman about the success of her new job. “At least, it’s my niche until the next door opens.”

It’s not always a bad thing to try something to see if it’s what you expected. Of course, it helps not to spend years in school, but a wise mentor once told me, “You may decide down the road that it’s not for you, but you can always choose another path.” Don’t let mistakes deter you, he continued. With that advice in mind, think about what you want to do as a career. Chances are you already may have more than a clue.

I knew I wanted to be a writer/editor when I was 11. I thoroughly enjoyed my English courses, especially creative writing. Just about this time, I also had a wonderful teacher, who encouraged us to try new things. I found myself sketching animals and actually recognizing the species once I’d finished. Time and lack of patience would take me down another path, but to this day, I wonder if I could just take out an easel and start painting, what would happen?

Year after year, though, I gravitated toward writing courses and became editor of the school newspaper my senior year. Through the years, though, I’ve met many young people who entered college with no clue about what they wanted to do. Some were in their junior year and were still not sure what to declare as their major.

If you are like one of those students, think back to what you enjoy doing. If there is one piece of advice I’ve followed my entire life: Have fun. One publisher even went so far as to say, “And if you quit having fun, get out!”

Think about what people have said about you. Parents may not be the best critics and tend to either be more critical or more biased than others you know. Has a teacher or boss ever told you that you excel in certain areas?

I know one young woman who was quite adept at putting things together, straight from the box. She actually followed the manual, and family members often suggested she put the new bike or dollhouse or desk together. She also was good at figuring out why something mechanical wouldn’t work. Hearing the praise again and again made her study for a career as a biomedical technician.

Bounce around ideas about what you want to do with trusted friends or colleagues. Value their feedback, and ask questions about why they said what they said. Within a short time, you will soar into whatever field you choose, confident that you are headed up, in the right direction.

-Sheila

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