Finding your calling or career path is a struggle for most of us. I can say in my personal experience, that even if I knew I wanted to study journalism there were so many classes to choose from that I found myself lost. The guidance of a professor helped me choose courses wisely and shaped my career trajectory to-date.
I spoke with Erin Feicht, Career Development Advisor at St. Thomas University, to get a better understanding of the path of discovery for students to experience and determine their hopes for career paths. Fortunately, the university offers plenty of paths for exploration, it’s important to take a variety of courses to gain knowledge and experience on different topics. According to Feicht, “50% of students that enter post-secondary have a clear idea of what they want to study, while the other 50% either have some areas of interest or are totally lost in a world of possibilities.” She strongly advises students to seek-out advice, and be open to the process.
Her process is (about) four steps:
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The brainstorming process is important because it reveals the ways that students can gain experience and build skills while in university. Reflecting on where you want to go can help pinpoint interests and reveal where to look for internships or experiential learning opportunities that will lead you to the job you want when you graduate. Feicht also notes that it’s important to understand the salary bracket of the career you’re pursuing, to prevent unmet expectations.
Choosing a career shouldn't be scary, it can be fun and exciting to try new things. Being open to experimentation can lead you down the right career path but this path may be different than what you thought initially – that is a part of the process. Letting life ‘take its course’ rather than controlling the outcome is a huge part of the journey and it’s a process that will feel easier if you work with your career advisor or a mentor along the way. Having a guidance, like a mentor or advisor, can help you release the pressure of choosing a career path and guide your journey so that you find a career path you love.
“I didn’t have this kind of help when I was in college, so I want to encourage students and let them know that they are not alone in this process,” said Feitch.