Your freshman year of college is behind you, and you still aren't sure what you want to do with your life. While you can generally stick with general ed classes through your freshman year, and sometimes into your sophomore year, you will soon need to decide upon a career path and a major. Otherwise, you may end up stuck with extra years of schooling or a failure to meet graduation requirements. These tips can help you narrow down your options and find a field you will enjoy.
#1: Take an Assessment
This is the single most useful tool in the career choice tool box. The Strong Interest Inventory assessment is a simple process that helps you pinpoint your strongest interests and provides a list of career clusters that pertain to these interests. Not only will this help you find your strong points in terms of interest, this assessment can guide you to career options you may not have known were available or may not have thought about previously. You can take these assessments through a private testing firm, or you can see your school counselor for more information.
#2: Become Familiar With Target Departments
If there is a subject you enjoy and are interested in, but you aren't sure how it can transfer into a career, speak with the department head or professors in the department. There are often little known career options or options that may not occur to you within a given field. For example, if you're interested in anthropology, you may not know that many detective forces employ forensic anthropologists, which is a blending of both criminal justice and anthropology fields. A little research can open up a whole new realm of possibilities.
#3: Be Realistic
Finally, be realistic and make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. If there are a few career options you are interested in but they play to your weaknesses, you will need to make the decision early in your college career as to whether you will be able to dedicate the extra time and work to overcome these weaknesses. For example, engineering requires a strong background in math. If you aren't strong in math, are you willing to put in extra time and energy to work with tutors and do the extra studying? If it is the design aspect that interests you in engineering, perhaps interior design or landscape design will play allow you to do this while playing more to your strengths. Being realistic about your abilities can help you hone in on a career choice that will provide you with the most satisfaction in the long run.