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I had originally planned to write a post about finding a job outside your major, an obstacle many students encounter around this time of year as a Junior or Senior. In fact, I did write a post about it. A full page of advice I thought would be helpful to students in a squeeze, disappointed in their decision and without the time, money, or energy to change majors. But there was a big problem: the post was boring. I found myself guilty of the same mistakes so many of us make. I was just going through the motions, typing up the same career advice you can find through our website or a conversation with one of the great career consultants here in Clark Howell.

I had 2 options: post the piece I had written, or write something that would provide a new perspective and be something I’m proud of.

These are essentially the same choices you’re faced with when deciding whether to continue into a career traditionally related to your major that may not be what you want, or take the risk of venturing into something you’re truly passionate about.

Competitiveness and drive for positions will be a necessity. While I don’t recommend pepper-spraying other candidates before an interview, the interviewee who shows the most passion for a position will have a leg up on a more experienced but less passionate competitor.

Also consider informational interviews with people who are successful in the career you’re considering. Just a half hour with someone can provide a lot of insight. In my experience, 5 people in the same career will have 5 different paths they took to get there. These short meetings are also an excellent opportunity to network.

Finally, meet with your Career Consultant to make sure the path you’re considering is an option right out of school. Also make sure you aren’t selling yourself short by choosing a position you will be excessively over-qualified for.

A career in landscaping may not be the best choice for your MBA

What it comes down to is gaining experience and getting your name out there in the field you’re considering. An internship or externship through the Career Center’s Intern For a Day Program will give you exposure to the real world activities in an industry. As far as obtaining an internship, joining pertinent student organizations will provide the networking opportunities to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Bear in mind that the extra effort will be worth it. If you’ve truly found your passion and calling in life, the satisfaction you’ll receive on the job will outweigh any trouble getting into the field initially. With the proper preparation, you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to help out.

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