Although some people have a passion that burns like an Olympic torch, most young adults do not enter college with a defined career plan. With thousands of careers to choose from, expecting someone to know what they want straight out of high school is unrealistic. That said, there is no better time to find your passion than during your college years. Here are some tips on how you can do that.
What Are Your Gifts?
Everyone has unique talents. Some people may be mathematic geniuses while others excel at abstract philosophy. Take time to evaluate yourself from an objective point of view and reflect on what your innate gifts may be. Look at your achievements, however small, and consider if there could be a career in doing what you are good at. This could be anything from being a fantastic cupcake baker to being an excellent communicator.
If you are feeling decidedly average and are unsure about where your talents lie, turn to your classmates, friends, and family for advice. Often, the people around you see you more clearly than you see yourself. This applies especially when it comes to soft skills such as empathy and creativity. Contrary to common belief, soft skills are just as important in fashioning a career. A strength in soft skills can lead you towards a career in the fields of management, social work, and psychology.
What Moves You?
As the quote goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” While this is not entirely true—especially in this economy—the general idea is that pursuing your passion will give you more fulfillment than simply working to collect paychecks. You may not have a passion that moves mountains (yet), but everyone has interests, no matter how trivial they may seem. Use them to unearth your passion.
For instance, your primary interest may be your pet cat. Due to your interest in cats, you may learn more about cat biology, volunteer at an animal rescue, watch cat videos all day, or knit tiny little cat jumpers. With time, these activities may set you on a path of passion toward animal medicine, non-profit work, social media content creation, or even pet fashion design.
By ramping up your interests, you give yourself the chance to be one of the few who end up with a job that they love. The important thing here is to know what truly moves you. There is a difference between a casual pastime and an active interest that fills your cup. Think about what gets you out of bed in the morning and the activities that make you feel alive.
Who Do You Want to Serve?
Very often, it is the people whose lives you improve and not monetary awards that are most rewarding. Aside from thinking about a career that just makes you happy, think about how your profession will fit into society. Is there a specific community that you want to serve? Perhaps you want to help new migrants, the elderly, or young people like yourself. Determining your target clientele is a clever way to reverse engineer a relevant career.
Examining the concept of service will also help you to separate your hobbies from what could become a vocation. It may feel nobler to choose marginalized groups or people who are worse off but they do not need to be your only choices. Your target clientele could be multinational corporations or multimillionaires. The main point here is to know who you hope to benefit with your skills and talent.
Explore and Evolve
College is a terrific time for you to expand your horizons. There are a vast variety of courses to help you discover new interests and uncover hidden passions. Even if you already know what you want from your career, take a few random courses that are a little out of your usual sphere. The knowledge that you gain from these classes will give you fresh insight into your capabilities and how they could be applied to the world.
Do not be afraid to evolve. Many college students are hesitant to change their major but four years is a long time to spend on something that does not feed your ambition. It is more common to switch majors than you think, and some students even change colleges. If your current college does not offer the education that the new you demands, seek out the best colleges that provide a better shot at the career of your dreams.
We all hope to have a career that we love. College is the time to define who you are as an adult and put a plan in place for pursuing your passion. There is no single vocation that will please everyone. Therefore, you must consider your talents, what brings you joy and motivation, and who you want to work with. Learn more about yourself and what you can achieve while you are in college and be prepared to grow.