Career, General, Get involved, Student Life

Discovering a Career

We all have an idea of what we want in life. Some people are certain about their dreams and others change their minds. From what I’ve learnt from the past two years is that choosing a career is never a narrow, straight road. There are branches, twists, and turns. You can enter university, aiming for a particular degree and graduate with a completely different degree. Or you can graduate university with a certain degree and end up in a career that’s completely different than what you spent four years studying for. To some people this change can be scary, but it’s a part of the journey that I believe is a normal process in discovering what makes you happy.

Since birth, I’ve always been an indecisive person. I would have a couple of ideas of what I want and then completely change my mind. In high school, I’ve changed my mind about career paths about 3 times. Initially, I wanted to be a biomedical engineer, but that was before I discovered physics and realized it was NOT for me. Then I considered being an architect, but realized that I loved art only as a hobby. A medical researcher was the next career path that I wanted. Since grade 12, I’ve been hustling to make this dreams true, but sometimes I do have my doubts. What if it’s not right for me? What if I don’t love it? What if I’m not getting enough money to support my lifestyle? These are questions that even today I still ask.

A picture of a sunset through a plan window.

One thing that I realized I love is traveling. It is my dream to travel to different countries and learn different cultures.

As much as I find science interesting, I don’t know if I’m truly in love with it. I want to go into a career that I love and am deeply passionate about. I want to be able to wake up in the morning and go to work because I’m excited to work. It’s my biggest fear to just settle for a job simply because I need the money to survive. During my second year, I went to many career workshops offered at U of T such as Backpack to Briefcase and Dream Job Academy to help discover what I love. To my surprise, I heard stories from professional who graduated with a degree and are doing something completely different from that degree. The current jobs that they are in now, they love it and I realized that it’s okay to not know what exactly what you want. I also learnt that there were a lot of graduated students from U of T who don’t know what career they want to be in either. Choosing a career is a big decision in your life, and it’s okay not have it figured out in the moment. It’s best to find what you love doing first.

Going to these different workshops has changed my perspective on how I view the job market. The world is more flexible that you think, and there are so many options to choose from. This is why I believe that university is a perfect time to explore these options through electives and extra- curriculars. Go to career workshops and learn what options you have. It helps you discover what makes you happy and what you are purely interested in. Once you’ve found it, see if you can make this into a career and take the leap to get there. Even in my third year, I’m still exploring what makes me happy and finding a career out of it. Enjoy the journey of finding your passions and career and be open minded to any changes. Who knows, you may end up loving something your never thought you would.

Here are some links that would be useful in your exploration process:
Career Exploration Orientation

Career Learning Network

Backpack to Briefcase

Dream Job Academy