In career life school

Finding your dream job

college, major, picking a major, choosing a major,passion career, career,


I've got my first ever paid design gig this month. Well two actually. I'm interning as a graphic designer and I'm also a page designer for The Shorthorn. It feels almost too good to be true that I get paid to sit at a computer and design stuff, which got me thinking about how people pick their careers.

That whole existential crisis thing has a lot of college age students wondering what the heck they should be doing with themselves, let alone majoring in. I feel almost certain that I've found my ideal field. Here are a few tips on how I got there. 

1. Figure out what you like ASAP- If you're in high school or the early years of your college career, take the time to try out tons of different things. I took a bunch of basics my first two semesters while trying out a communication class or two, but I also got involved in my school newspaper to experience the writing side of journalism.

2. Figure out what type of environment you like to work in - Personally, I'm perfectly content sitting at a desk by myself for hours at a time. I also really like to be in charge of my own pace and schedule. If you're the type who needs human interaction in your place of work, a graphic designer may not be the best option. You know yourself better than anyone, so don't worry if you're a loaner who doesn't mind a cubical or if you a socialite who would rather be on some sort of sales or marketing position.

3. Consider how much you want to make -There's nothing wrong with switching majors for the potential earnings. Money is an important part of your life as an adult, and knowing you wouldn't be comfortable without certain luxuries doesn't make you greedy, it makes you logical. However don't become a doctor just for the money, there's a fine balance between finding your passion and making money. It's up to you to decide which is more important. Honestly money one of the main reasons I'm not a journalism major, even though I work very closely with journalism as a comm tech major. I used sites like Salary.com to compare different professions based on my location.

4. Gain some experience - Whatever your desired position try getting an entry level job as soon as possible, especially during your undergrad. Even being a receptionist at a dentist office is a great opportunity to learn about becoming a dental hygienists. It'd be terrible to get into your first position after college with an architecture degree only to realize you hate looking at buildings all day. Plus, getting any experience in your field is a great way to bulk up your resume while trying out different professions.

5. Find your balance - The weirdest thing about my new design jobs is that I would do this stuff for free, which makes me think I'm in the right field of study. I started designing for fun as a junior in high school, and have been creating calendars, spreads and quotes ever since. This is where it comes back to choosing a balance between your passion and money. I'm probably just as passionate about literature and fiction writing as I am about graphic and web design, but it's easier to make money as a graphic designer. 

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