Choosing a career path is a big challenge for many young people who are preparing to venture out into the great big world. This is made even harder by the fact that many high schools, and even middle school, students are finding themselves pushed to decide on these big picture aspects of their future without the benefit of experience or time on their side.
Start with a look inside.
Young students are being placed in baskets more and more in the U.S. educational system—whether that be in the social sciences, STEM fields, or in the case of athletes who show potential for future professionalism. Counselors for college admission are a great resource for high school students and other young adolescents. College admission counseling can help frame the options available to a young person like you. Breaking these big picture ideas down into easily digestible formats can help facilitate an understanding of all the possibility that lies ahead through the college admissions process and a lifelong love of learning, in whatever field ultimately suits you.
While many resources are often available, these same children are often not yet experienced enough to make these decisions about where they might want to end up. Even many college students who are about to graduate and step out of the educational system for the first time in their lives are confused about what life might have in store for the future.
Taking a good hard look at who you are and what makes you get up in the morning is the first step to contemplating a great multitude of career options. Starting with a look at your own interests and hobbies is something that must build from the ground up. You need to think about the “essence” that makes you who you are.
This approach to the human mind and body is often attributed to Aristotle, who thought that things—all things, including the complexities that make up humanity—could be boiled down to a core concept, an “essence.” This has been expanded upon and challenged by many since, but this is perhaps a great place to begin to think through the things that make you tick. You may even find that the study of philosophy and a lifetime of contemplation surrounding the very being of “us” is your calling! Here are a few great careers to consider as you think about your future.
Practicing the Law
One great option for young students who are opinionated or passionate about debate is in the courtroom. Practicing attorneys spend all day honing their ability to verbally spar with their opponents and make excellent counterpoints that can quash the opposing viewpoint. A professional litigator like Malliha Wilson has spent decades perfecting her craft and offers an excellent template to look up to. Malliha is a Tamil-Canadian lawyer who was the first visible minority to hold the office of Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Ontario Government. She maintained this role from 2008 until 2016 and has also presented a great deal of complex litigation regarding human rights and labour law before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Today, Malliha is the Senior Counsel at Nava Wilson LLP and specializes in human rights and indigenous rights cases. Placing her passion for those who are the most vulnerable directly in line with the work that she does gives her the ability to enjoy a fulfilling career that places her work right in the middle of the action.
Taking this example onboard is a great way to launch your own career in the law or within another field. Malliha is a well-respected lawyer with years of experience in both public and private practice, but she’s also someone who has successfully melded a number of personal interests and important causes into one career trajectory. The lesson here is invaluable for any career field pursuit.
Psychology and Psychiatry
Psychiatrists are specially trained mental healthcare providers. At a New York psychiatry facility, mental health professionals spend their days working with patients who are suffering traumatic injuries, mental illness, and a wide variety of other disorders that require a delicate touch to alleviate. A psychiatrist is someone who cares deeply for the mental stability and wellbeing of the patients that they see on a daily basis. Psychotherapy is a serious medical field, and only those with a strong stomach for the mental anguish that some patients are battling can make it in this field.
Still, the rewards are out of this world for a psychiatrist or psychotherapist who can successfully navigate the challenges of a mental counselor role. Whether you will be focusing on patients who are primarily suffering from attention disorders like ADHD, or tackle more complex and harmful mental health disorders like schizophrenia or depression, doing right by your patients and helping them to maintain a balance in their lives is a commendable pursuit that only the best among us are capable of getting into.
Selecting a career path that’s right for you is an intimate decision. There’s no single right choice, only one that makes you happy.