Baby Steps: I dont’ know what I want to do with my life…

July 27, 2010

Each year as new students arrive, we can typically categorize our students in one of three different categories. 

The Dreamer: This student is shooting for the stars but doesn’t quite understand the politics, steps, hard work and effort it will take to reach the stars. Or this person is a bit over-confident in their abilities to reach their goals that they think they have to leave the petty hard work to the menials.

The Realist: This student typically understands their skills and how they can contribute to an organization.  They have a good idea about what they want to do and often times, you will find that these students have already had various experiences that have allowed them to understand who they are and what they want to do with their career

The Undecided: This student will ponder the many thousands of options and never settle on one.  They are reluctant to take the leap and try something new and different.  They have not explored their own skill sets, and don’t typically know where to begin.

So, which student is in the most frustrating situation?  That’s right!  The Undecided aka Unfocused.  You see, with the Dreamer, they at least have direction and just need a bit of professional guidance to steer the ship, and the Realists have it pretty figured out.  But the Undecided…they are a whole different breed.  I just want to look at my students and say, choose something and if you don’t like it…guess what?  You can change.  Many times, they know they want to make an impact.  They aren’t just people who don’t want to contribute.  They do want to help out, but just don’t know where to get started.

Start with baby steps.  Decide what skills you have to offer and what you enjoy doing. Then look at different career options that fall in line with your skills and values.  Now that you have narrowed it down to about 500 options, then choose one.  Try it out, then go from there.  Set up an informational interview, find some people in that field and talk to them.  Ask them what their days are like, etc…

Then, volunteer to help out for a few days, see if you like the atmosphere, ability to use your talents and skills.  Take the leap.


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