As an academic advisor, I come across this question quite often. I have thought of how someone should go about choosing a major that will best fit them. When I think of this, I think of the many questions that someone should ask themselves in the process of choosing. There are quite a few aspects to consider that are realistic and sometimes hard to answer, especially if it interferes with a dream of what we “think” we may want to do with the rest of our lives. I will tell you exactly what I mean by this and the questions to consider asking yourself in the next few lines.
Questions you need to ask yourself:
- When I was a child, what did I want to be when I “grew up”?
Do you still have the same dream? If not, what has changed and why?
- Who am I now?
Am I an introvert or more of an extrovert, or perhaps a good combination of both?
- Based on who I am and my personality, does the career/careers I am thinking of fit my personality?
- Have I ever had any experience with the career/careers that I have considered?
For example: If a dream or thought of yours has been to be a Doctor, have you ever volunteered at a hospital and “shadowed” different doctors? What kind of Doctor would you like to be? Are you aware of the courses required for this major? How about a Nurse? How would you feel being inside of a hospital all the time? Have you ever been around a sick person that needed your care? How about a Teacher? Have you ever been inside of a classroom helping a teacher teach a class? If the answer to any of these questions is no or not enough, what are you waiting for?! Get out there and volunteer! It will all begin to become clearer in your mind and heart.
- What environment am I currently happiest in?
Hospital, classroom, office, outdoors, etc. Are small spaces an issue for you? Are you claustrophobic? If so, you may not be happiest inside of a cockpit as much as you love the idea of being a pilot or perhaps you were claustrophobic and now you are not. Are you happy when you need to speak in front of a crowd or happiest when working alone on a project? It is important for you to analyze this question. This may give you career ideas that you never thought were an option!
Although, there may be other aspects to consider and questions you may ask yourself, I hope this helps you at least determine which area you may be headed in. Notice I did not discuss money. I believe you will be able to make the amount of money you would like as long as you make that happen for yourself.
After answering the questions above, please keep the following in mind during your decision process:
- Your career will be what YOU make of it, you and nobody else.
- Keep in mind that whatever major you do choose, there are endless job titles=”related fields” that you can get into. (You will become familiar with the term “related field” as you begin job searching.)
- You do not have to know what you want to do for the rest of your life “right now” or “ever”. You just need to get a head start in the direction that you feel now will bring you the most happiness and fulfillment. Since the universe understands this may very well change for you, you will always be able to change your career if need be. The idea here is just to give you a head start in your new world of career adventures.
- Remember you need to choose a major to Your Liking. After all, you will be the one that needs to report to duty upon graduation.
- It is a good idea to take a majors test. This will help you narrow down your ideas. Try mymajors.com or visit your college’s career center if already attending college.
- It is a good idea to meet with a college advisor to discuss any questions you may have after you have done your research.
Now, best of luck to you and remember, Your career will be what YOU make of it, you and nobody else no matter what anyone else may tell you!