dream career

Battling Uncertainty about your Future Career

            Close your eyes and imagine this: you’re 26 to 28 years old. You’re waking up, climbing out of bed, taking a shower, and getting dressed for work. Imagine you’re standing in front of your dresser or closet. Pick out your outfit for work. What’s the outfit? What are you wearing to go to work at your dream career?

Let’s imagine the rest: what are you bringing to your job? A laptop? A briefcase? Are you driving to work, or taking public transit? Perhaps you work at home, or live where you work. Whatever you imagine, it will narrow your career choices down further than you might think. Someone in casual clothes or pajamas won’t work at a hospital, restaurant, or white-collar firm. Someone who works out of a backpack might work at a small tech company, while someone with a briefcase might be a lawyer.

In your mind, dress for the career you want. What are you wearing?

For many, deciding a dream career isn’t this easy. Perhaps many careers interest you, or perhaps none have interested you enough. Whatever the case is, try to visualize what you want your future to be like. Keep the image in your mind, and let’s make it happen!

No matter what your dream career is, college will most likely be the first step. Many jobs won’t even interview you unless you have a bachelor’s degree or higher. For jobs like these, your degree is your first impression. Attending a good school and receiving a relevant degree will open a lot of doors for you. What halts the progress of many students is the uncertainty they feel about what major to choose.

Uncertainty is Okay

Uncertainty is very common among college students. Uncertainty can take many forms. Many students are held back by financial burdens, pressure from their family, or anxiety over making decisions. Choosing a career is difficult, and it can be hard to imagine success in your dream career if you’ve been told it’s impossible. Your career will shape your life in many ways. However, your career is yours, not your parents’ or anyone else’s.

Uncertainty is okay! The important part of forwarding your career is having a plan and acting upon it. You don’t have to know what the end goal is, but you have to move forward. The average college student changes their  major three times during their college career[1]. It’s hard to know what a major is really like until you study it, and it’s normal for a college student to try out multiple majors to see which ones suit them.

Picking a major is not the same as picking your career. Majors can be changed, while careers require lots of commitment. It’s important to find something that interests you and provides you with fulfillment before you commit the rest of your life to a given career.


How to Pick Your Dream Career

Finding the right career starts with finding the right college. For finding your dream career, try to find a college that offers many options in many fields that interest you. Rather than finding a school that specializes in one subject, find a school that has strong departments offering many subjects.

For example, rather than find a school that’s great at biology, find one with strong science & math departments. A college like this will give you the freedom to try many majors while also providing a proper education when you decide on a major.

Transferring schools to pursue a given major is also an option but try to avoid transferring laterally. Transferring schools comes with many expenses as you change housing and move your things to a new city or state. Also, not all credits transfer from one college to another, wasting time and money on courses that no longer count towards your degree. Picking a college with many options that interest you will prevent this scenario.

Whatever your college career looks like, it will be the first step towards the rest of your life. Make the most of it and try out as many things as you need to make sure you’re making the right choice!



Author: Hastings Davin

[1] Normalizing the Norm of Changing College Majors by University of Tulsa