Change of Plans

Career & Workplace
What to Do if you Don’t Know what you Want to Do       
I was talking to my sister recently about her son who is a freshman in college. Now he not so sure he wants to keep his major in Mechanical Engineering, even though it has been his dream for years to design and work on cars. I think college kids have it tough because it is a hard decision to make at 17, “What do you want to do for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?” I didn’t even realize what I wanted to do until I was about 26, so I feel for the younger kids who are pressured early on to ‘pick a major’.

So, it got me to thinking about our choices when we are adults. What happens if we change our mind? What if I don’t want to write resumes anymore, but I’m not really sure what I want to do? What would my next step be? Here are a few simple ideas to help you get started:
1) Well, for starters, if you really have no idea WHAT you want to do, I would suggest enlisting the help of a Certified Career Coach. A career coach is trained in helping people figure these things out! The will gather your likes/dislikes from you, coach you on possible positions, and work you through the pros and cons.
2) Take an assessment. The internet is loaded with lots of free sites where you can take behavioral, career, and personality assessments. I just recently took one and was surprised by what it said. It was so true, but the info it contained hadn’t really occurred to me. An assessment will highlight your strengths and weaknesses, and also may offer insight into which jobs might be a match for you. They are quick and easy to take. Fun, too!
3) Do what you love! There is a saying that goes, “Do what you love and the universe will support you”, or in other words, do what you love and success will follow. I did not love sales and I was not good at it, therefore success didn’t follow me (not one bit). However, I always loved writing, always loved helping adults with career transition/job search, and discovered I had a knack for resume writing. Presto! I love it and I make a nice living by doing it. What is your hobby? Can you make money from it? Give it a whirl. You never know.
4) Research Occupations. Do your homework and look up jobs that have always sounded interesting to you. Go on an informational interview or shadow someone whose occupation you would love to be in. Don’t feel embarrassed about asking; people love to talk about themselves and what they do! I always felt that another calling of mine would be event planning. I know my organized, anal retentive, attention-to-detail side would be perfect for it, and who knows? It could be a back up job. I did my research on the different characteristics and strengths needed for the job and found a match. Look up occupations that interest you online, read the details and see if you match up.
Figuring out what you want to do is no easy task for most of us, so go within yourself and find out what you would truly enjoy. Look it up online and see if there is a calling for it anywhere. This is the fun part. The world is full of possibilities, so go grab yourself some!
Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW