After taking a career-based personality test, I learned that I\’ve followed the wrong career path for the past 30-plus years. Rather than journalism and public relations, I should have gone into counselling, teaching or management – like Pope John Paul II, former US President Ronald Reagan . . . or even actor Nick Nolte.
It all starts with feeling energized by the work, according to what speaker, author and coach Curt Rosengren wrote in a US News & World Report column.
How do freshman year students know what type of work ignites their passion? Many don\’t – and many who think they do change majors somewhere along the line. In addition to taking career assessment tests, colleges and universities offer the following advice:
- Compare the different careers that interest you and narrow your choices.
- Gather information about degree programs and talk with “undecided” advisers about courses that provide a sampling of interesting programs as well as opportunities to determine skills and abilities in these areas.
- Speak with professors or professionals who work in occupations that you\’re considering.
- Visit your school\’s career development center. They can often provide reference materials as well as information about volunteer, internship and other opportunities that can provide real life experience.
- Join a student organization focused on the career that you\’ve selected. Network with professionals in the field, learn about trends and attend job fairs.
All work is ultimately about making a difference, Rosengren suggests. In addition to financial considerations, he says, it\’s important to consider what you hope to achieve through the career that you consider and how you might grow from the experience.