For some people, knowing what industry they want to work in is easy to decide, for others not so much. I’ve been there myself and, in fact, I’m still torn about what I want to do. Don’t worry, you don’t have to have it all figured out just yet, BUT here are some tips for beginning the process:
- Think about your strengths
Almost every Freshman takes StrengthsQuest when they come to Hope (if you didn’t, call the CDC and we’ll get you squared away!). Reflect on your top five strengths and how your mind works, these can help give you guidance about what career path might suit you best.
- Reach out to professors, family members, or friends
Use the people around you to your advantage. Start asking friends and family about what they do and what they like/dislike about their jobs. See what careers sound interesting to you and consider shadowing or doing an externship in a couple of those industries!
- Think about your passions
Everyone has things they could talk about for hours. Think about the topics that get you fired up and see what jobs might deal with them (eg you love to talk about policy and current events, maybe political science is right for you or maybe you love math and analytics maybe finance is your sweet spot!) Whatever your passions are, there is probably some niche job that will let you connect what you love to your career.
- Job shadow
Make a list of industries you think you might be interested in and shadow people working in that industry. We have tons of resources (LinkedIn network, Alumni connections, etc.) that can help with finding people in any industry you can think of. I’ve found that people love to talk about what they do, so informational interviews and shadow days are a great place to start looking for an industry you may be interested in.
- Just give one a try and see if it’s a good fit!
No one says you’re locked in after you take an internship or that first job. People switch career paths all the time
Wherever you decide to begin, know that picking the best career path is normally a lifelong adventure. Very rarely do people pick a job and stick with it for the duration of their working lives. Just starting the search is half the battle, so hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be on your way to finding the industry that works for you.