My Career Exploration Journey

Going into college, I had no idea what career field I was interested in. The fact that there were thousands of different career options available was daunting to me and I felt pressured to pick the “perfect” one. I caused myself unnecessary stress throughout high school trying to stick to a solid career path. Nurse, Accountant, Teacher, Event Planner, Social Worker, Human Resources. Every time I landed on a career, I wanted it to be my end all-be all.

Unsurprisingly, by the time I entered college, I was undeclared. After several rounds of visiting advisors and talking to peers, I finally accepted that it was okay to be undecided. And while I accepted that it was okay to be undecided, I knew I still had to be proactive about figuring out what I wanted to do so I started with baby steps. This time around, I wanted to choose a major that would both encompass my interests while allowing room for growth and exploration instead of confining me to one specific career path.

Through a combination of taking classes I found interesting and using Fleishman resources such as Focus2, the Explore Program, and appointments with career consultants, I eventually declared my major in Psychology. Although I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with a degree in Psychology, I was genuinely interested in the field and I knew it would be flexible enough to apply to various areas of study. For the rest of my freshman year, I researched more about what careers a degree in psychology could lead to and made a list of the ones that seemed interesting to me. Using more Fleishman resources like CandidCareers and Vault, I was able to understand more about those professions, from job prospects to day-in-the-lives.

Before I knew it, I found myself gravitating towards one field of study — Occupational Therapy, which encompasses aspects of human services, human development, and physical wellness. Occupational Therapy allows me to combine my interests in psychological and physical health while also challenging me to explore subjects I otherwise would not study. I am pursuing this career path because I am genuinely interested in it and would like to learn more through talking to or shadowing professionals in the field. Although I feel confident in my decision to pursue Occupational Therapy, I also acknowledge the fact that this might not always be the case. It is part of the process to change your mind — one, twice, or even twenty times — and it’s perfectly okay to do so as long as you continue to be proactive about discovering what it is that you want to do. You may surprise yourself by discovering that you are interested in something you never even knew existed!

By Jenny Li
Jenny Li Senior Peer Consultant