Which Field Do I Pursue A Career In?
Where to Start?
At this point, you’re simply overwhelmed by all the information intended to you. I feel you, I’ve been there myself! Everyone including your parents, even your friends and the school are giving you their own input. Nonetheless, some need more time to think and will choose to study in a general program during their first semester or year. At least 20% to 50% of students will do so. Thus, to put the odds on your side, keep on reading!
First, you need to learn about yourself, meaning you need to know what you like, dislike, your strengths and weaknesses, your goals, your personal values, etc. Doing a self-assessment will help in your decision-making process. Ask yourself the following few questions. How could you put your skills to good use? What are your interests? What type of personality are you? Are you an extrovert or introvert? Certified questionnaires do exist and are available online and at your school. Remember, that your major doesn’t mean a single occupation, but an array of career opportunities. Think of it as a basket of choices, does this major/program speak to you? Once you have given some thought to these questions you can move forward.
After so much reflexion, you’ve found THE program! This is great, but… yes, there is a but. I mean, we all know that it’s great to work in a field that we are passionate about, but you still need to be realistic. You won’t be able to grow as a professional if you can’t find a job in your field or worse, the job is now obsolete. More and more jobs that didn’t exist 5 years ago are now being introduced to the market while some are completely changing or disappearing. Thus, it is important to be aware of the industries trends, the demand in occupations and career paths because this will help you figure it out. The website Find a Career is pretty useful in terms of giving insight to technical and vocational occupations.
Lastly, there are outside determinants that will also influence your decision-making such as if the program you’re interested in is available in your region. Will you be fully committed to your studies? (Time) Are you able to commit? (Budget) It’s certain that some programs may require some sacrifices and a lot more motivation than others at some point. Once again, the best thing to do is to take the time to reflect on these factors and again, questionnaires can help you. The Quebec government has a great section on it’s website about Making the Right Career Choice. Be honest in your answers and results may guide you or at least help you get there! Don’t forget though, they can’t decide on your behalf! You might also want to visit the school campus to have a better idea of the environment where you’ll be spending the next 3 to 4 years of your life. It can be a game-changer on your choice!
What if I made the wrong choice?!
You’ve spent so much time and effort on making sure you took the right decision, and now it’s been a few weeks and you don’t feel you’ve made the right choice. First, give it some time. This is all new for you and you need to get used to this new environment, friends, and this new way of learning. If you still don’t like it after a few weeks/months, it’s okay! Rest assured, you’re not alone, according to the University of Toronto, between 50 and 70% of students will change major/field of program at least once during their studies. Your next step will be to see your Guidance Counsellor regarding the deadline to cancel or change program. Unfortunately, you may have to wait a semester or even a full year before you can change which you should not worry about. Any skills and abilities that you may acquire during the semester or year is gold for your future. You will grow a lot from learning and we never stop growing. According to Statistics Canada, on average 6.9% of the people surveyed (Jan 2015) had the same professional objective at 25 than they had when they were 17 years old. Basically stating that nothing is concrete. We may discover other interests, goals, and we may have grown as an individual which may have brought us on a different path, so it’s normal if you deviate from your original plan!
Career Counsellors and Mentors
If you’re still uncertain, you can speak to a professional about your career choice. We invite you to see with your school or your municipality if you can schedule an appointment with a career advisor.
Having a mentor is another way to get into the workforce and Academos is a great way to do so. They allow you to connect for free with professionals who are more than pleased to help young adults like you better understand the reality of the workplace. With thousands of mentors available to guide you through your journey, Academos is certainly a great way to help you take this decision!