Your Path, Passions, and Career
Olivia Kane, student, Washington State University | August 9, 2021 in Pearson Students
by Olivia Kane
Prior to beginning college, I had a linear and picturesque set of measurable goals leading to my career. I was prepared and excited to study nursing at Washington State University for two years and move to Spokane for nursing school; however, after undergoing brain surgery I quickly learned that life is not a straight line. I found myself questioning whether a career in nursing was right for me.
You may ask: why are you telling me this? Simple. A lot of people can agree they wish they had pursued a passion or a dream, rather than a cookie-cutter career lifestyle. It is a lot easier said than done to pursue your passions, but it is important to know that some of your greatest moments and biggest adversities can turn into a life you want to live.
Growing up in a household that was oriented in business, economics, advertising, and marketing, I unknowingly picked up countless techniques and important points to succeed in the business world; however, I craved a medical-based career and was prepared to work as hard as possible to achieve that goal. To become what I dreamt of; I developed a set of measurable goals leading to my career prior to beginning college. I was prepared and excited to study Nursing.
Upon entering school and throughout my first semester of college, I experienced many new things. Some amazing, some…not so much; however, some new things regarding my health arose as well. After an accelerated diagnosis of acute onset hydrocephalus, I underwent emergency brain surgery, followed by a semester off. During this time, I began to reflect on myself and my academics. I pushed myself to try to dig deep and discover why I loved the field of nursing and why I saw myself as one in the future. Although I saw myself fitting in this mold, I wondered what else I might want to do. With this, I narrowed down my three favorite subjects, passions, and attempted to mold these into a career path.
With my organic marketing skills that had culminated throughout my childhood, I knew I could succeed in this field, but I also knew I loved all sciences and also wanted a career that could show me the world and all its beauty. My love for travel, studying abroad, and submerging myself into new things has become my college major and minors: marketing, biology, and international business. I am now hoping to pursue a career in medical device sales.
A lot of people advise college students to pick a field of study that mirrors their passions. They say: If you love what you do, you do not work a day in your life. As cliché as it may sound, I find this rings true and is the exact advice I plan to follow.
Here is a guide to identifying what you desire, what you need, what you can study, and what you can achieve:
WHAT YOU WANT: If you desire a change, a challenge, or a life that surrounds a passion that will never dim, consider listing five things you love doing. These can be academic based, social, physical, psychological, travelling, and more.
WHAT YOU NEED: After compiling a list of your passions and what you want from a potential career, consider what you need. While it is a harder task and pushes you to truly decide whether you can transform a passion into a life. It is important to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses within yourself to ensure you avoid entering a career that is ungratifying, not what you thought you wanted, or a career that can simply not sustain your lifestyle.
WHAT YOU CAN STUDY: The analogy: ‘dipping your toes in the water’ resonates near-perfectly when choosing your major and/or minors. Many will enter college with a major in mind and after receiving a small glimpse of their future studies, may choose to change their educational path or may solidify their choice of majors. An important thing to remember is, whatever you chose, make sure it is right for you, because at the end of the day, this is your career, not anyone else's!
WHAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE: This is an important question that many bypass when choosing a career path; however, it is important to be knowledgeable of the growth potential within your career, if you would rather remain stagnant, and if a future employer can encourage and push you to be your best, professional self.
Picking a career path does not have to be a daunting task. In fact, it should be a testament to what you love to do, study, and where you see yourself in the future. I challenge you to think about what you love most, value most, and how you enjoy spending long hours. Then think about what you can do with this. Can you make a life out of it? Because I bet you can!
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