Love Your Decisions

“Should” is a tricky word. I hear it almost every day in Career Services, and some students use it without thinking:

  • My parents said I should take the internship because it will really help me get a good job after I graduate. 
  • I’m thinking I should major in Finance…I’m don’t really like it, but might as well since I’m here.
  • Should I accept this job offer? Everyone else from my major is telling my how lucky I am to get offered this position, but there is another job I think I like better.

Does any of this feel familiar? It does for me.

When I was in undergrad I majored in management, and by senior year it felt like everyone was accepting positions for training programs at big corporations. I had spent my summers working in education and the arts, but I still felt like I should take a job in corporate America – it’s what my parents wanted and what my friends were doing. I felt like the only business major in the world applying for jobs in education.

How did I make that choice, against everything I had been taught by my professors and heard from my family and peers? Someone in Career Services told me to think more about what I wanted, and less about what I “should” be doing.

So, I’m telling you now: don’t feel constrained by what your friends, parents, professors think. If I actually followed any of their advice, I would be an accountant or lawyer by now. It might seem silly, but sometimes the most important part of the job search is to take a break and think about what YOU really want to do with your life.

I’m not saying your friends, parents and professors don’t have valuable opinions or meaningful advice. I’d just like to remind you that in the end, this is your life and your career that you will wake up to every day. My favorite quote on this topic:

“The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them”

Aren’t sure what you want to do?
Take a break, and consider when you were happiest, what your favorite class was, what extracurricular you enjoyed most, or what skills make you stand out. Start there, and use the resources Career Services provides. We have walk-ins and appointments available with career counselors and a website full of information: