Learn What Others Do to Find Your Ideal Career

Two weeks ago my sister Jay (a high school senior) and her boyfriend visited me downtown to look at DePaul University.  Afterwards, we sat outside at one of my favorite Lincoln Park spots and talked about college and careers.  My sister and I are nine years apart.  While I’ve already graduated college and gone through those first few post-college years, she is just starting the process.

Our conversation was really interesting and gave me some great topic ideas for Ms. Career Girl.  What most sparked my interest, though, was a comment Jay’s boyfriend made.

Taylor, like a vast majority of college students, is paying his way through school but isn’t totally sure of what entry level career path he’d like to pursue.  He said something like, “I’m not dumb and I’m not lazy.  I just don’t want to waste a ton of time or money until I know what I want to do.”

If I were to venture a guess, I’d say Taylor explained how most 18-22 year-olds feel about their education and career.

Some blame the “lost generation” on schools: High schools aren’t doing a good enough job of introducing students to various career paths.  Others feel college curriculum isn’t focused enough on preparing students for life outside the classroom.  Some of this may be true.  But, to that I say:

There is only one person in charge of your career: YOU.

My advice to Taylor was to make a point to talk to everyone he knows about what they do for a living. I told him to sit down with the professors who teach his favorite subjects and ask them what types of career paths that subject matter could lead him to.  I suggested that he ask his relatives, friends’ parents and everyone else he knows about their jobs, education and career goals.  At some point he’d hear about options that are interesting to him.

But the problem with my advice is that it takes up a lot of time. And, at his age, his network is still small.

After thinking a lot about this conversation, I decided that I want to provide a free “career due diligence” tool to young professionals like Taylor.

Therefore, you’ll start to see some requests to join our free email list.

Ms. Career Girl’s email subscription is designed around the values expressed here at Ms. Career Girl:

  • YOU are in charge of your career.
  • Network every day.
  • If you don’t know what you want to do, then figure out what everyone else is doing and see what appeals to you.
  • You must know who you are and what you want before you can go and get it.
  • When conducting a career search, look for cool companies, not just cool job postings.
  • Read!
  • Interview often, even when you’re not looking.
  • Your college major isn’t everything.

The details of this premium content email is still in the works, but here’s what we know so far:

Our career email will educate you on cool career paths, awesome companies and unique job openings that you probably didn’t know existed.

Some emails will appeal to you more than others. That’s the point. The info in each email should help you open your mind to what’s out there.  Use this email to learn, network, get inspired and as part of your self-exploration.  Use it as a job search tool and use it to save yourself time from doing all the legwork yourself.

Recruiters, business owners, journalists and more can submit cool job postings and companies by emailing me: nicole@mscareergirl.com.

And YOU should subscribe to our free email list today.  Then tell your friends by clicking some buttons below to share this article with your friends.

Suggestions? Questions?  Leave them in the comments box below or send an email directly to me at Nicole@mscareergirl.com

Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.