For most, the college search process begins with putting together a list of schools based on academic qualifications like SAT scores or GPA requirements. Deciding which school is the right fit, however, is more than just numbers on a rubric. It’s about size, culture, access to real-world preparation and most importantly, future aspirations.
How do we help you navigate choosing a career for the rest of your life? It all starts with creating opportunities that enable self-discovery.
Here are 5 ways to uncover your passions:
- Be your own detective
Naturally, we tend to gravitate towards things we like. Pay close attention to how you spend your free time. Which content do you view frequently on YouTube? What channels are you subscribed to on Snapchat? Researching your own browsing history can help identify areas of interests and provide big clues into what your passions are. Take an inventory of these interests and begin to draw parallels to university major offerings. If most of your afternoons include countless sessions of Fortnite Battle Royale, then you might want to consider a career in computer science.
2. Get Involved
Whether it’s joining after-schools clubs, volunteering with local nonprofits or interning for local businesses, extracurricular activities are a great way to initiate self-exploration. Step out of your comfort zone and be part of things that matter to you. Nothing available that peaks your interest? Pitch new ideas to your Principal. Retire the remote and take action, your future self will thank you. (Netflix’s “are you still watching” prompts are annoying anyway!)
Consider career assessments as the OG Buzzfeed quiz that digs a little deeper than “What Riverdale character are you?” Career assessments can help identify who you are based on what you like. They also help with prioritizing your values. Most of these quizzes will highlight areas of strength and provide recommendations to expand on them.
Here are three assessments recommended by top employers:
4. Informational Interviews
Play Ellen for the day – minus the scare pranks and ask someone you admire to sit for an informal conversation about their life trajectory. Informational interviews will provide an inside look into the journey someone took to reach their current destination. It’s also a great way to network and potentially build a portfolio of mentors for the future.
What if there’s no one close doing what you like? Search for videos of your favorite influencers and hear what they have to say about their career path. Here’s a clip of LeBron James recollecting challenges in high school during his journey to the top.
5. Online Learning Platforms
Taking online courses might not sound like the best way to spend your Saturday night. But think of this like a free month subscription to Spotify Premium. There are plenty of online learning platforms that offer an array of classes from digital marketing to engineering even Photoshop boot camps.
Here are three platforms that offer little to no cost course catalogs: