Some lucky people find their passions in high school and go on to major in Biology or English with a specific career in mind. The majority of us, however, know a little about what we are good at and what we like to do, but not the career path that best fits us. Especially in the arena of business, there are so many avenues to take and paths to take them. Sometimes, it’s hard to stay inspired when your classes aren’t quite what you thought they would be or you are not exactly sure what job you want to work toward. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you find more purpose in your work and bring your passions into what you do daily.
1. What feels like it has purpose and what feels like an obligation?
There are a lot of opinions thrown around about careers, but only you know what feels best for you. Of your classes and extracurriculars, what do you like to do best? What feels fun, easy, or like a welcome challenge? On the flip side, what feels like something you have to do instead of something you get to do? We tend to lean towards what we are good at and interested in. I suggest making a list of positions, activities, skills, and atmospheres you like and comparing that list to possible career options.
Maybe you are in a leadership role with your sorority and you love working with a primarily female organization, so you look for that in a career path. Or you volunteer with kids and would love to be involved with education but don’t see yourself as a teacher. These are all important things to know when thinking about what you want to do with your life.
2. Are there any obligations you can get rid of?
As we are currently in the middle of a pandemic, most events and obligations have been canceled. So maybe the better question is this: Of the activities you had before, what do you not miss? Of course, obligations are a part of life and there is something to be said for trying new things, taking a class you know nothing about and resume building, but as far as your future career, what would you prefer it not involve? As I like to tell myself, it is just as important to know what you dislike as it is to know what you really enjoy.
3. Are there any projects/activities you are passionate about that you can add to your schedule?
With the current state of events, as well as summer on the horizon, hopefully you have a little more time on your hands. Now is the perfect opportunity to begin a new venture — something you have been wanting to do, but always thinking it wasn’t the right time. Maybe it’s an art project, a side hustle, a blog, an Instagram account about plants — really anything you feel passionate about wish you had more time for in regular life. It is also a great time to research companies and organizations you are interested in or hope to work for in the future.
4. What is your end goal?
It might seem like an obvious question, and most of us would probably just say a job, but reflecting on what you really want in life can help you put your career path in context. Is climbing the corporate ladder your goal? Do you want to go to a nine-to-five for most of your life? Does where you want to live have jobs you are interested in? Would you prefer working from home or going to an office everyday? Would you like flexible hours or do you need more structure? Even within specific disciplines, there are numerous concentrations and companies that all do things a little bit differently.
5. Do you want a career with your passions or a side hustle?
Although our skills and passions overlap, you may find yourself really good at a job you don’t completely love. That does not mean you have to force yourself to love it or even stay in that field. If you don’t mind it, maybe make your passion your side hustle and keep your job to help fund that project.
While college is a vital starting point for your career and future, the job you get right out of school doesn’t determine the rest of your life. As you probably know from successful business men and women – people rarely stick with the path they start on, and that’s okay! You may change your career drastically multiple times throughout your life. What matters now is that you explore what interests you and what you may be able to do with those interests and skills you have.
By: Grace Farmelo