Careers develop over the longer term, not the shorter term

Very few students wake up randomly in the middle of the night and know exactly what they want to do from that point forward. Many more students have a rough idea (helping people! being outside!) of things that would be nice to have in a job but it takes a while before those ideas coalesce into a more concrete career option to pursue.

What do students do to figure out options? They generally gather information, participate in activities with intention and mindfulness, try out some options, and spend some time reflecting on their strengths, goals, values and more.

How long does it take for most students? It varies based on numerous factors—but generally career clarity unfolds over months not days because it takes time to test out ideas and talk to people. The good news is that students and alumni who take the time to delve into their interests, build authentic relationships with advisors, professors and working professionals, and dig into something outside of their major (as well as something within) are well on their way to gathering useful career information.

By Catherine Basl
Catherine Basl Career Counselor Catherine Basl