Post # 1
do what you do for a living (or are in school for)? I’m curious about other people’s journey in finding their career and why they chose what they chose. I am currently in my senior year of undergrad and still haven’t quite figured things out. I want/know I need to go to grad school, but what for??!?!?!?This is causing me to freak out almost daily. So, did you just know…or did you just pick something you could see yourself doing?
Post # 3
I am a teacher. I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in 3rd grade. I never wavered or second guessed. I don’t think this will help you much.
I will tell you this. I don’t know the statistics on it but I heard this in my masters class. Because of all the new technology, 10 years from now, the highest paying jobs in America don’t exist yet. It’s too hard to predict what will be big years from now. My suggestion, find a field that seems to have a future, that has diversity and you can branch out.
Post # 4
I wish I knew what I was supposed to do. 🙁
Post # 5
I don’t know if my answer will give you what you are looking for but here goes!
I think for most people it evolves as you evolve and grow up!
I went to grad school not because I knew what I wanted to do but more so that I didn’t know what I wanted to do. When I became a teaching assistant I fell in LOVE with teaching adults (I can’t deal with little kids and don’t want to rag on people for not doing their work (highschool) – I like adults because they for the most part WANT to learn and the ones who don’t you don’t have to nag them to do their work) So in my second year of my masters I got a part-time job teaching college and I really enjoyed it; however, I found that college is VERY different from teaching university courses and what I truly wanted to do it was teach university.
Soooo I started doing my PhD…. but here is the thing the end point career (being a prof) is not what I thought it was. University professor’s job progression is based on research and ONLY research and I thought research in grad school was a means to an end but it’s not. Also the career is not really conducive to having a family. (Early in your career you have to put in endless hours to get tenured but that is when I want to be having a family) So now I am stuck in a program not sure why I am doing it because I am not so sure about the end career anymore!
And so my advice… when you decide what you want to do really look into the end point career and ensure that it is what you want to do and complements your life goals.
Post # 6
im a cpa… yeahhhh we bean counters know how to party right? 🙂 but seriously, its a background that has allowed me to travel the world on the bosses dime and i have skills that i can take to any country and pretyy much be employable
not something i grew up saying i wanted to be, i think if i cast my mind back i thought i wanted to be a social worker or a special ed teacher but i ended up in finance. it was easy for me, im goal orientated, i enjoy the legal aspect of it as well and after all these years i still find it interesting, i dont like puzzles but i enjoy getting this part of my job right. luckily ive been employed by some excellent companies along the way that have made me do more than just accounting and i think that helps
Post # 7
i’m a materials/metallurgical engineer. it’s very techie–everything I do and come in contact with is at the forefront of industrial technology so I will always be in demand. It’s not glamorous, someitmes it’s “deskie” and boring, but it pays the bills, i travel when i want (not too often, just enough) and they pay for 100% of it. Oh and I will never really hurt for a job. The job security is way nice and i can use it as a platform for other jobs. People with math backgrounds AND social skills (aka not typical engineers) can really propel their futures. I don’t have to worry about my company going bankrupt either. Unless the world stops flying that is. It’s super flexible which is key for me this young when i’m looking to have kids soon. It pays tuition for grad school (right now i’m getting an 80K dual degree education for pennies basically–top 4 engineering school and top 15 business school so yes it’s going to help me when i’m done and give me options) and i have flex time and work at home capabilities. I don’jt see myself doing it in 10 years, but using it to get me where I want to be when I 100% figure it out!!! Sometimes it’s not all about the schooling but about the experience that gets you there, which is what i’m learning every day.
“systems engineering” is the new big, hot topic field in technology by the way and people are paying bookoo for systems engineer starting salaries!
Post # 8
I’m in undergrad too, getting ready to graduate in the spring as a Professional Writing major/Creative Writing minor. I was one of those people who just knew what they wanted to do from a very early age. When I was a teenager I started thinking about it seriously, and the answer always came back to writing. So I committed myself to it, come hell or high water. I know that no matter what exact career field I’m in, whether it’s a journalist, editor, writing center developer, freelancer, whatever, I’ll always have my first love to carry with me, which is stories.
If you’re not sure now, I wouldn’t worry about! Before we get a “real job” it’s hard to say where the path will lead or what we’ll end up enjoying the most. If you don’t like something, you have the rest of your life to explore different work fields.
What I would suggest is to get a job, then look into grad school. You have a LOT of time, really.
Post # 9
I still don’t know what I’m suppose to be doing. I was suppose to be student teaching this semester but teaching is not for me anymore, I’ve changed a lot in the past few years. I’m now graduating with a BA in History, which seems limited but really there are a lot of options for me, almost too many. People keep telling me my only option is teaching but history has trained me to think critically and write well, which I’m told is very important. I’m going to just test the waters with my degree and see what’s out there. Eventually I’ll go to grad school but not before some research in the real world.
I went to the book store and did a lot of research online. I found books that told me what my options were and helped me to narrow down my options. You may want to look into books that can help you figure out what you love/want to do.
Post # 10
I actually began as a pre-med major and completed everything for med school when I was shadowing at a local hospital and got lost trying to find the salad bar at lunch time when I wandered into the nuclear medicine department at that hospital. There I ran into an old lab partner of mine who had just graduated from nuke med and showed me around. I love techhie stuff but also am amazed by human physiology and loved being able to work on my own and was hooked.
But..then again, I also left my profession for four years when I was married to my ex and ran a division of his company and kicked butt in sales.
Then..there’s the side to me that is shared with my sister where we love to be creative and design things too. Our aunt was/is an interior designer in LA and I swear we’ve inherited her “gene” for that.
So I figure I could have gone several different ways in life. To me, there is an amazing feeling however, second only to being a mom, and it’s when I help somebody have a fuller, longer life or find out a problem that nobody has been able to solve and give them their health back and tell their doc what is going on!
I think I just like making things better after finding them as they were. Who knows where I will end up in life? I am seriously considering working on another degree and learning a niche area of consulting that T’s told me he thinks I’d be amazing at. It might be fun!
Post # 11
I think i’m doing what i was meant to do 😀 i went to vandy long ago for biomedical engineering (i wanted to research pathological diseases of the embryo and genetic disorders) life happened and i got pregnant went back to school for court reporting. it was very lucrative as a career but empty as well. i love helping people and i didn’t get to do that at all so i walked away. fast forward 2 years i was working for a printing company and really really love weddings and event design (preston bailey jung lee, etc type events) another colleague of mine loved them too and we started a business together and did our first show (we were a success but no one called!!) after that she pulled out and i went forward and haven’t looked back at all. i LOVE what i do and am now getting paid for it and it’s a very rewarding feeling to get paid to do what you’ve always loved. people ask me how long i have been in business and i must say that it started when i was 14 and my stepdad proposed to my mom. i remember even shortly before then looking in wedding books with her for all of the fantastic styles of the time and the decor etc. that was about 15 years ago and i must say that i look at something wedding/event related DAILY. i honestly love helping people and planning beautiful events and getting paid for it. it’s a very overwhelmingly emotional thing sometimes and i am usually on call for my brides AT ALL TIMES 😀 which isn’t necessarily a good thing lol!! i do respond to emails at 2 am, but hey when you’re a new company you have to put in the extra hours… it feels really good now that the marketing and shows and expenses put in are paying off.
Post # 12
I’m a press secretary. It wasn’t something I picked out — I studied music and I really just fell into doing this! But the more of my kind of work I did, the more I loved it — so here I am.
Post # 13
I agree with Future Mrs Martin, it evolves as you grow. I never thought I’d be a scriptwriter or a voiceover talent, but here I am and who knows what it will lead to next!
Post # 14
It certainly does change as you hit the “real world” and things aren’t as easy as you dreamed ;o)
I went to undergrad for communications-public relations/journalism. I really thought I wanted to get into journalism and even applied to J-school at Columbia and NYU (and got rejected) I moved to NYC thinking I would get editorial work and realized it was pretty much impossible in terms of paying the rent. I sort of fell into finance and learned that I was interested in corporate communications/marketing. So I’m going to grad school for that.
As of right now, I’m not doing what I was “meant to do” but I’m on the right path. It pays the bills and allows me to go to school and have opportunities for advancement in the company that I’m at. I look back and think about how sad I was that I didn’t get into j-school, and now I am so glad. I never would have been able to afford to live and I would be $80K more in debt now. Now I go to a CUNY school and pay out of pocket with no loans.
I agree with pp’s that you don’t have to go to grad school right away. Depending on what you want to do, you typically have the option to go at night anyway (that’s what I do) and work full time.
Post # 15
i’m a mechanical engineer and i picked this path because i knew i would be able to get a job right out of school. plain and simple. i had an aptitude for physics and math so that was helpful too… to be honest i am still not sure what my dream career is, but right now it pays the bills and allows me to explore other options in my free time!
Post # 16
Well I still haven’t quite figured out what I want to do! I liked science/knowing how things worked as a teen, and my general chemistry class was easy, so I majored in chemistry. When I was leaving college, had no idea what I wanted to do with it, and found a job in consulting environmental work. Didn’t like that job, decided to go back to school to get a PhD in chemistry. Hated hate hated that (except for teaching) so left after 4 years with a Masters and now am working in regulatory consulting for a big chemical company. It’s a decent job, but it’s not a forever career for me. I’m thinking about exploring teaching community college next summer/fall (once the wedding is over).
My biggest advice would be not to go to grad school unless you are sure about what you want to do. It is a waste of your time and money otherwise. Explore different jobs/internships in your field and find something that you would enjoy and then figure out what additional schooling you might need.