I’m starting a new career segment on my blog! Today, I am going share my tips and tricks on how to choose your career path.
But first, thank for everyone who responded on Instagram. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of responses I got regarding speaking about my career on my blog – ask and you shall receive!
If you have followed me for awhile, you probably can skip a this paragraph while I (re)introduce my background. I graduated from University of Washington with a Political Science major and Law Society and Justice minor. I immediately hopped into all internships I can get and eventually ended up working in politics for about 9 and half years. While I was working in politics, I also was a fashion designer for about a year and a half, but I got burned out pretty quickly. Afterwards, I decided I wanted to work in the creative field, so I took a job with Cut (a Seattle based production company and YouTube channel). Recently, I had a chance to move to California and officially started my creative studio + run my blog and YouTube channel!
(Skip to here if you already know me)
I can get into all the details of how I hopped around so many jobs, but today I want to talk from the very beginning.
Like, how the hell did I choose my career path?
Since a young age, my parents really wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer, which is actually why I went to UW. My mom thought that if I decided not to be a doctor, she can at least make me a nurse because UW has a really good nursing program (go dawgs!).
Clearly, that’s not what I did.
For me, like most college students at the time, I was super lost. I sucked at chemistry but somehow I was really good at literature. Although there are many tests like Myers Briggs “if you have certain traits, you should be a certain career,” I never liked those.
So here are some tips on how I chose my career while I was in college (and even if you are starting new, I think these will still work):
- Jump with feet first: I think most people would say carefully examine/research your field and then choose, but I disagree. I used to want to be an FBI agent or a detective so one time I did a ride along with the Seattle Police Department. We caught someone who was drinking under the influence and ran into a tree, which was very interesting for me to see as a young “cop-wannabe.” I even took a test to be translator for the FBI (and obvi, didn’t make it). For me, whatever I wanted to do, I tried it first to see if it was a good fit for me. Which brings me to my next point…
- Ask questions from people in the field: I believe that no one can tell you how it is like the people in the field. Education takes you only so far. You need real life experiences. I’m not saying you don’t need education because you always need a foundation before you can expand on what you actually want to do. Asking people in the field gives you insight and non-textbook-knowledge into questions that you specifically want to know. Even if the person you are questioning is in the field that you don’t want to pursue, just ask some questions to see why they love their job. I didn’t think I would want to do politics, but I did it for 9 years because everyone who was in it believed that they could make a difference regardless of the odds. Their stories, triumph and belief in community inspired me and I became a “political operative” for over 9 years.
- Network strategically: Many people think if you want to be a scientist, you should go hang out with scientists. I disagree. I think if you ABSOLUTELY know you want to be in a specific field, you should go hang out with people outside of that field. Naturally, you will meet other scientist because you spend the most time there. I think networking outside of your circle will make you more well rounded and help you not be as narrow minded. Also, when you want to switch careers, these networks can be super helpful.
Hope these were helpful! Let me know if you have other tips and tricks when choosing your career in the comments below!
If you like this post, read my other blog post How to Combat Emotional Fatigue.