Monday, August 19, 2013

Ask Isa: What do you do when you don't like your major anymore?

From the Ask Isa inbox:

Dear Isa,

I will be a freshman this fall and my current major is early childhood education. I've always wanted to be a teacher since my first day of kindergarten. 

But lately, the thought of being a teacher has not been connecting with me. I am a helpful person and I want to make a difference in peoples lives. I am known to give good advice and I love helping others. 

What should my major be if I'm not sure if I want to be a teacher anymore? 


Changing Majors

Dear Changing Majors,

I can SO relate to this as I too thought I wanted to be a teacher most of my life. However, the more I learned about what it really takes to be a good public school teacher the more I realized it wasn't the best fit for my skill set and interests. 

Eventually I learned there were many careers that help, connect with, and teach people.

For most people it's impossible to know exactly what your career is going to be after college. By the time we get to college most of us have only been exposed to the careers of our parents, our school teachers, and what we've seen on TV

And there are countless jobs your generation will have after college that don't even exist yet.

There are so many choices and it can be overwhelming. 

It's okay if you don't have it figured out right away.

However, having some direction is helpful when it comes to having enthusiasm for class each day and ensuring you graduate on time. 

You don't want to graduate college without a good idea of what you are good at, what fascinates you, what problems you want to solve, and what value you add. 

Below area few things you can do right now to start thinking about how careers fit in with your personality and interests:

1) Take this free myers briggs personality test to get your 4-letter code. Then, type in your 4-letter personality code (e.g. mine is ENFJ) into Google like this: "ENFJ Careers" and read up on the careers that are suggested.

2) Go to and pick your favorite topics for the "What do you like" and "What are you good at" drop down menus and read up on the career options they suggest.

3) Take classes that sound interesting. Most people don't know their career until much later in life, so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Right now, focus on learning stuff that you find interesting. You'll be surprised at where the new knowledge might take you. 

4) Get involved in a club. Working with others can teach you a lot about yourself and what kind of work you're best at. Notice what projects you gravitate towards and were you excel.  

5) Interview people whose jobs you like, ask to job shadow them for a day, and start taking internships.

The best part about college is that it gives you options and opportunities to figure out your career along the way. A degree opens doors.

As long as you don't want to go into an industry that requires a specific degree, such as being a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, majoring in something that interests you will serve you well.

You're about to start a great adventure, and it's okay if you can't predict the end. Know that it will be a good ending if you commit yourself to the journey. 

You can submit your question to the Ask Isa inbox here. 

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