I’d bet good money that we’ve all been asked the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question at some point in our lives. I went through an awkward stage during my early teenage years when I responded to the question with, “I want to be an actuarial scientist.” After I learned that actuaries essentially do statistics problems all-day, every day to determine life expectancy, I decided that the career path wasn’t for me. My other childhood dreams—movie star, professional baseball player, professional Game Boy player—didn’t seem practical. In short, as I “grew up” I knew that I would one day need a job, but I didn’t know what the job would be.
For college students there is a lot of pressure to know what you want to do in life and how you are going to make it happen. After all, you are paying thousands of dollars to study your interests full-time. The reality is that many students still don’t know the answer to that question. If that is the case for you, do not panic!
Until last year, I still wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do with my life. This made planning for the future extremely difficult. Then, I had a “Eureka!” moment. I was doing PR for an organization and learned about engagement through social media, combining two of my interests into one super-interest. An internship confirmed that I finally knew what my new dream job was.
If you are still deciding on a career path, continue to become involved in campus organizations and help plan events. The variety of positions on executive boards means you can experiment and try new things in your field of interest. My moment of clarity came late into my junior year of college—the moment will eventually come to you too.
For people that are already on a career path, realize how lucky you are to know what you want to do. As spring break approaches, many of us college students are applying to jobs and internships all over the place. Having a clue about at least your field of interest greatly helps in the job search process.
I’m curious—have you had a “Eureka!” moment of your own? If so, at what point in your life did it happen? Make sure to leave a comment below to let me know!
All the best,