Why I Left Cookie-Cutter Career Advice Behind and Found My Real Purpose

Img Source - Western Oregon University

You ever feel like school career advice is a one-size-fits-all deal? Trust me, if you’re aiming for a leadership role and want something that understands today’s world, you need to listen up. I ditched the usual spiel and stumbled upon a program that speaks our language. Seriously, it’s transformative.

Okay, so most schools do offer some career guidance, but let’s be real: it’s like they’re going through the motions. That was me until I discovered something that’s a cut above: Careers That Matter. If you haven’t heard of them, you’re missing out. They have this 10-week online program that doesn’t just help you find a job; they help you map out a career path that aligns with your passion and actually makes a positive impact.

So why did I start searching for something else? Simple. I always knew I wanted to lead, to be the one making decisions and guiding teams. But regular career advice just wasn’t getting me there. They’d say stuff like “Maybe you should consider management,” but that’s so vague. The game changed when I took the Careers That Matter Free Career Quiz For Teens and later joined the full program. They got down to the real questions, like “What leadership challenges excite you?” and “What’s your vision for change?”

Before I dove into this program, I thought maybe I’d end up in corporate leadership, but didn’t know how to make it meaningful. The program helped me discover my ‘superpower,’ which is my knack for strategic thinking and ability to inspire people. That’s when I started to focus on the idea of becoming a Social Impact Strategist. What’s that, you ask? Think of it as a leadership role where you work on projects that actually do good in the world. Whether it’s launching community initiatives or guiding corporate responsibility efforts, it’s about making a difference while being in charge.

The program didn’t just stop at helping me discover what I wanted; it helped me figure out how to get there. We talked about networking, leadership skills, and even how to find mentors who could guide me. And get this: I met other teens in the program who were also going through major shifts in their thinking. As the program progressed, it wasn’t just about me figuring out what I wanted to do; it was about setting up the roadmap to actually get there. Let’s talk about how this plays out in real-life scenarios.

Take my friend Sarah, for instance. She’s always loved helping people and thought for sure she was going to be a teacher. But the program got her thinking outside the box. She began exploring Human Resource Development with a focus on employee well-being. Through Careers That Matter, Sarah discovered she could use her people skills in an entirely different setting, one where she’s not just instructing but actively participating in people’s career growth and mental health. Now, she’s looking into positions where she can set up wellness programs, lead professional development initiatives, and even work on employee engagement strategies that contribute to a more balanced work-life culture. That’s not just a job, that’s a calling.

Then there’s my buddy Carlos, who was dead set on being a musician. The program had him questioning whether that was the end-all-be-all for him. Through some soul-searching and guided questions, Carlos found that his real passion wasn’t just in creating music, but in creating immersive experiences. That led him to consider Sound Design for virtual reality experiences. Imagine, instead of just playing tunes, he’s now interested in building entire auditory worlds that can be as real as any physical space. He’s now investigating the tech side of sound, diving into software and even coding, to understand how to make his auditory visions come to life.

And it’s not just them; we all went through this transformative process. Another friend of mine, Lucy, was considering a career in journalism. She loves to write and is naturally curious, but the program helped her realize that her curiosity could take her beyond traditional media roles. Lucy is now researching a career in data journalism, a field that combines investigative reporting with data analysis. She’s excited about digging deep into social issues and using data to give her stories more weight and impact.

Look, I can go on and on about how many of us started redefining our career paths thanks to this program. The point is, it’s not just about finding a job; it’s about understanding yourself and how you can make an impact in the world. We’re talking long-term strategies, complete with internships, mentors, and an understanding of the unique challenges we might face in our chosen fields.

So, what else is in it for you? The program’s got interactive live workshops, and if you miss one, there are video summaries to catch you up. Plus, the weekly challenges are seriously eye-opening and get you thinking beyond the basics. Oh, and you’re part of this amazing global community of teens all trying to figure out their own paths.

So would I recommend Careers That Matter? In a heartbeat. If you’re aiming for a leadership role and you’re tired of career advice that doesn’t get you, this is where you need to be. No more settling, no more wondering; just a clear path to a future that’s yours to lead.

Want to find your own leadership journey? Check out Careers That Matter at www.careersthatmatter.org. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

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