How great would that be to experience any career you choose? Just for one day?
Growing up, I had many dreams and aspirations…
I wanted to be a dancer. Ignore that fact that I am completely uncoordinated and have the worst sense of rhythm. I took dance lessons for a while and finally decided it wasn’t the best route to go.
I wanted to be a veterinarian. I rescued strays dogs and cats and proudly presented them to my parents, only to have them look at me sternly with the same ‘no” that I got every time. When one of our pets got sick, I couldn’t bear to see them suffering.
I wanted to be a writer. I loved to write stories and poems of the love and heartache I had yet to experience. As I took more writing courses, I took my criticisms very personally and I fretted about what happens when my creative juices run dry.
As a teenager, I had the opportunity to explore many interests, enabling me to test the waters prior to embarking on a career path that may not have been right for me. My two daughters are now facing the same decision as one enters high school and the others one prepares to leave.
My senior in high school is feeling the pressure of choosing a career as she looks towards her first year in college. She took a job recently at a local preschool after narrowing her interest to early childhood education. It took about a month for her to realize 1) she’s not cut out for early childhood education and 2) children are the best form of birth control available.
My youngest daughter is a freshman in high school. She is interested in the medical field as well as veterinary medicine. Over spring break, she volunteered at a medical surgery facility. She has been doing filing and other clerical tasks and has had the opportunity to view a few surgeries. It took her a week to realize 1) there is life beyond high school and 2) she can choose a job and love what she does.
Exploring the work world can be beneficial for any young person still deciding on a career path or someone at any age that is contemplating a change in careers. Most professionals are eager to share their love for their career whether via an informational interview or by shadowing them for a day. The insight that can be gained now will help steer you on a more direct career path in the future.
What career would you “test-drive” for a day, if you could?