University Career Center

Black and white photo of The Career Center's front desk area (art filter is active)

I was listening to a friend speak in the past week and he was talking about the idea of following your passions and creating your own talent. He got me thinking about other ways you can think about the types of careers that you want to pursue given your interests, passions and skills.

Often people come in to The Career Center saying they have a lot of interests and passions but don't know how to combine them to make a decision. If that sounds like something you are struggling with, here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

A great resource for exploring career options is ONET - provided through The Career Center. Essentially you can type in keywords related to your interests and strengths. ONET then generates potential careers that might be a good fit for you using data from people who are happy in their careers and who have similar interests and strengths to you. It's like Amazon's or Netflix's recommendation system, but for careers.

Another step you could explore is what my friend called "finding your comparative advantage". That is, we aren't all born with one superior talent (e.g., LeBron James and basketball). However we still have a set of skills and interests that make us unique. Thus we can all still combine our interests and skills together and brainstorm careers that will capitalize on our talents.

"Finding your comparative advantage" struck me personally as I have interests in many fields from business to technology to writing. So in using myself as an example, perhaps I can combine all of these interests and provide value as an Equity Research Analyst in technology stocks where I could write reports in a business position about technology companies. Here I could provide value and combine all of my interests into a potential career.

Want more structure? Consider taking a "test" like the Strong Interest Inventory along with an appointment with a Career Coach at The Career Center.  Together you can explore your strengths, preferences, passions, interests and more, to generate a list of career ideas worth exploring.

It's perfectly normal to be nervous about the future. It's normal to be undecided. It's normal to have more than one passion or one interest. This is a good thing. Connect with The Career Center to find out how to pull all of this information together and leverage it into a brand new, promising career.