What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Oh, the holidays. It’s a time for friends, family, food and prying questions about your future. Before I graduated high school, my family members spent some time during our holiday gathering to ask me what I wanted to do with my life. The questioning only intensified after I started college. I would always have an answer, but I honestly didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do until the second semester of my sophomore year in college.

Some people know exactly what they want to do and where they’d like to work. While others may not have any idea, and that’s OK! Your career path is an extremely important decision that greatly affects your life, so take as long as you need to figure out what you’d like to pursue. Here’s some resources you can explore to help you weigh your options:

Browse IndianaINTERN.net

Even if you aren’t ready to commit to an internship, you can still explore IndianaINTERN.net to see what options are available. Utilize our Advanced Internship Search to search by keyword, location, job category and more. As you read various internship descriptions, jot down notes of what types of positions and industries you might enjoy. You can use these notes to help you narrow your focus and pinpoint your interests.

Take a career aptitude test

Career aptitude tests can provide career options that match your personality, thinking style or skill set. You can find tests online, or your school’s career services may have some for you to take. However, it is important for you to think of the results of a career aptitude test as a guideline for your career path. You aren’t stuck committing to any of the careers you get as a result; they’re merely suggestions.

Meet with your school’s career services

Career services staff members can provide one-on-one career coaching that can help you determine what path you’d like to take. They’ll also be able to help you create a plan to reach your career goals.

Google it!

If you already know your major, try searching the Internet for careers within your area of study. Check out this helpful website. It breaks down each major by area of interest and then provides multiple careers that fit within the area. The website also lists specific strategies for you to use to achieve a career within an area of interest.

Request an informational interview

Use LinkedIn or your own personal network to connect with professionals in the fields you think you’re interested in. Once you’ve established a connection, politely request a brief informational interview to learn more about that person’s job and career path. An informational interview is not a job interview. It’s simply a way to learn more about a professional and their career.

Job shadow

See if anyone from your professional connections will allow you to shadow them for a day, or your school’s career services may have job shadowing opportunities available. A job shadow allows you to get a brief glimpse into a day in the life of a professional. Unlike an internship, it’s not long-term, so you can explore multiple industries and professions without making a commitment.

Talk to your instructors about their career paths

Since some of your instructors may have had careers in the field(s) that you are interested in, they can provide you with beneficial advice and information. They may even be able to connect you with other professionals in your field(s) of interest.

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