Career Exploration

6 Ways to Help You Decide Your Major and Career Path

When you are nearing the end of or graduating high school, you get the question all the time: “what do you want to do with your life?” It’s a daunting question, and it can be difficult to even know where to begin with figuring out the answer.

There are many fields and career opportunities to choose from, so it can seem like an impossible task to find the one that is perfect for you. Try not to stress too much! You have time to figure it out, and we are here to help you figure it out!

❗Note: Your career path is not set in stone when you choose it. Many people start pursuing one career just to end up somewhere completely different!

By taking internships and job opportunities you are passionate about, you will eventually find your way.

When you start thinking about what you want to do with your life, make sure you take a holistic approach and look at the bigger picture. There are many different ways to narrow down your career path–here are some ways for you to start searching!

Lady sitting at computer
Image from Pixels

1: ✨ Consider Your Passions and What Brings You Joy ✨

Since you’re going to be spending a lot of your life working, you want to be sure that you actually are enjoying what you do. You don’t have to be completely in love with your career, but you want to make sure you can take some level of joy from it.

Try to list your hobbies and interests and see if there are any overlapping interests that could make for possible career paths. Even if there is a slight connection between a possible career path and one of your interests, it could be worth looking more into.

Discovering who you are is an essential part of choosing a career path!

2: 🚗 Test Drive Possible Careers 🚗

Even if you only have a vague idea of where you want to go with your career, you want to get some experience of what it is actually like to work in it daily. For instance, it is one thing to think you want to be a lawyer and another to know exactly what it is a lawyer does.

Although test driving a career sounds difficult, it doesn’t have to be! You can do so entirely online and at your own pace with Forage’s virtual experience programs. You get to complete the daily work of any field you chose (directly from big companies)  and see if they are the right fit for you!

3: ❌ Consider What You Definitely Don’t Want to Do  ❌

When just starting to figure out your career path, it can be helpful to immediately cross off specific fields or paths that you could never see yourself in. Finding your way gets a lot less challenging when there are fewer options to choose from.

While doing this, it is useful to think about what classes you hated during school or hobbies you’ve tried but didn’t like enough to continue. This can help you save time by weeding out entire fields.

4: 🏢Evaluate Your Past Work Experiences 🏢

Thinking back on any type of work experiences you’ve had (even if they were just high school part-time jobs) can give you some insight into what you want out of a career.

Think about what you enjoyed from the work environment and what you didn’t. Think about aspects such as the hours you want to work, the number of people you have to interact with, and the variability/consistency of the work.

5: 🕸️ Utilize Your Network 🕸️

Your network can be an amazing resource for finding a career for you. Even if you do not think you have a network, everyone you know is part of yours, and you know a lot more people than you think you do! Websites like LinkedIn can also be a great way to network.

If you know people working in your fields of interest, ask them questions! You can get a lot of information and insight into what a particular job looks like this way. If you feel comfortable enough, you can even ask them if you could shadow them at work to see firsthand the work they do.

For networking tips, check out this guide!

6: ⭐ Consider Your Values ⭐

Ask yourself, “what do I want out of a career?” Some people want their jobs to be something they deeply care about, while others prefer to keep their passions separate from work. Consider if you’re willing to spend a lot of time at work or if you prefer to prioritize other aspects of your life.

Next, check out this list of resources that can help you explore career paths! And for more, check out this career readiness advice guide!

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