Changing My Career Path and Learning How to Handle It

During my entire middle school and high school career, I thought I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a Music Education major. 

I was passionate about the arts and music. It was my life and what made me happy. I knew that teaching was my calling and it is what I would be best at. My entire family and all of my peers knew that my mind was set and there was no fighting it. This was true up until senior year of high school. Right before my decision date for college I completely changed my career path. 

I decided to go to George Mason University instead of James Madison University and changed my major from Music Education to Government and International Politics. While this was a big change and an initial shock to everyone I knew, everyone was on board and understood that it was something I was passionate about. 

My first two years of college were fantastic! The beginner classes within my major were so fascinating and interesting to me. I felt like I was on the right path and I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I had so many goals for extracurriculars, internships, jobs and about a million plans to reach those goals. Life was exciting and fun! 

Then comes my junior year and I am having the same question looming over my head that I did senior year of high school. The jobs I glorified and hoped to have someday were nothing like what I thought in my head. Everything started to feel distant and nothing was interesting to me. 

I was still passionate about government, but not in the same way as when I was a freshman. I started to really analyze my life and what I wanted out of it. I thought back to what inspired me, what would get me out of bed everyday, and at the end of the day makes me happy. 

Then it hit me: Teaching! I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was young, and I’m passionate about government, so why not teach government?! I was instantly hopeful again and felt a weight lift off my shoulders. While I know slightly changing my career path again will be hard to accomplish and adjust to, it is something worth doing because I will be happy. If you are having this same problem here are a few tips that helped me sort everything out.

1. Analyze What Your Strengths Are!

Often times this can point you towards a career that you may be interested in based on what you’re good at!

2. Look back and think about what subjects make you excited and feel inspired!

Look into fields you are interested in. If you don’t like it now you definitely won't like it when you're 10 years into your job. 

3. Do a lot of research and talk to individuals with experience in the field. 

Watch youtube videos, read blog posts, and literally anything you can get your hands on. Also, remember that not everything you read may be true so take everything with a grain of salt.

4. Talk to an advisor in the area you are considering!

Most times hearing the specific breakdown of the degree requirements in question can give you clarity on whether or not you're up for the task.

5. Talk it out with your friends and family

These individuals are the only other people, besides yourself, that know you best. Get their opinion but again take everything with a grain of salt. 

6. Do what is best for you and no one else!!!

Do not go into a major or career because someone else wants you to or because someone told you to. Even though it will be hard at times, trust yourself and follow your gut.

Via Giphy

I hope this helped if you are in the same situation I have been in time and time again! Good luck with finals!!