“What course do you want to take up in college?”
I have hated that question for the longest time. It annoyed me how people expected me to know what I want and judge me for my uncertainty. It’s crazy how at middle school, my eldest sister already had a brief idea of what she wanted to do in the future and at that age, people – parents, relatives, family friends, etc – expected me to know mine as well.
Because of this, I had been in constant search for what it is I’m actually good at. I have always prayed for countless times, asking God for what He made me for. Fortunately, after several years, He finally opened the eyes of my heart to see and visualize His plan for my life – or bits of it, at the least.
Today, the Lord implored it in my heart to reach out to those who are still fully undecided of what career path to take. I’m sharing the things I really did to figure out what I want so if you want to know more, feel free to ask. 🙂
1. List down the things you enjoy doing and the things you are good at.
Some people believe this is stupid but SERIOUSLY, listing them down on a piece of paper or on your phone helps A LOT. I used to think it was pathetic as well until I actually tried it. What I did actually was look at my past report cards, mid-term reports, exam scores and more to figure out which subjects I really do excel in, compared to the others. I also reviewed my recitation cards and it helped in comparing which subjects I had more points in because it would mean that I was really interested in the lessons we discussed.
2. List down the things you hate doing and the things you are bad at.
And no, filling the whole thing with ‘SCHOOL’ would not be wise because you are doing this to help YOU, and trashing everything would be ruining your own chances of self-discovery. This would be helpful when you’re already doing Tip #8 which I would be discussing later.
3. Take free personality tests – TONS of them.
Ever since I was in the fifth grade, I have been aware that I did not actually know myself that well. In order to change this, I have taken (believe me) TONS and TONS of personality tests both online and in books. Whether the personality tests you encounter contain 500 questions or just 10, take both and take note of the results. Although most personality tests are not accurate, taking countless tests would give you a wider idea of your unconscious by finding out which statements they have in common. I would recommend 16personalities.com (my eldest sister shared it to me) because it was the most accurate among all and also, Kokology books.
4. Take free Career Assessment tests – TONS of them, also.
Personally, I used legitimate books from my school’s library but the online ones are also very helpful. I don’t have recommendations for this because I cannot remember the sites however, I advise you to take all possible free tests you find because I did. They would take you places.
5. Consult the people around you.
Parents, guidance counselors, friends, siblings, classmates, teachers and a whole lot more. This is important because these people may know you even more than you know yourself. It is important for you to ask them because oftentimes they see your capabilities when you don’t.
6. List down possible careers according to abilities and wants.
I had the longest list back when I was still searching which I acquired through years of taking aptitude tests and what knot. Making a diagram would also be helpful but I didn’t use that method. Anyway, it would be best if you make sure the careers you list down are aligned with your capabilities and wants.
7. Research on each career on the list.
Yes, it is necessary to research on EACH career and not to skip any because this would help you really know what you might be getting yourself into by taking a certain path. I watched career talks both live and online besides Googling about each as well. I would recommend icouldstories and careergirls on YouTube because they speak to real people doing the job and the videos are very accessible because obviously everything’s just on YouTube. Talking to real people you may know is also advisable because of very obvious reasons.
8. Narrow down your list of possible careers to Top 3 or Top 5.
You should do this when you have researched on your possible careers because by then, you would have a clearer idea of what the job actually pertains to. This was actually the most difficult task for me but it was the most helpful.
9. Research about the courses you could take for each of the careers and about the colleges and universities who offer them.
This was helpful to me because it helped me consider which courses I could take most suitable for my financial stability, location, campus needs and etc. It connected my abilities and what I wanted to do to real-life challenges and etc.
And MOST IMPORTANTLY,
This is applicable to everyone, even for non-Christians. For us Christians, it is self-explanatory why. Believe me, I have prayed for this over and over ever since I was in middle school and I am grateful because the Lord finally allowed me to see. For non-Christians though, I think it would be best if you just try to pray, even if you don’t believe in Him. You might be surprised at what He will do in order for you to maximize your potential.
Even though these tips may not be the answer to your questions and uncertainties, just think of them as at least a step closer to self-discovery and self-actualization, besides yoga – lol. And the results of course would not be instantaneous (it took me so many years), but with the right mix of determination and patience, you will surely find out what it is you want to do for the rest of your life. I hope you were blessed by what I wrote and if you have other tips, I would appreciate comments because they would be helpful to me as well.