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Living Well - Working

Work: What is it Good For?
April Boulier, Ed.D.

What kind of work or career should I choose? This is a difficult question asked by all of us at one time or another. Some individuals will delay the decision indefinitely due to a fear of choosing incorrectly. Given that the average person changes careers three to five times in his/her lifetime, we may be looking at a life-long process versus a one-time “choose right or bust” decision.

So how do we go about the process of starting to figure out who we are and what we want to do for work?

Ask Questions

  • How important is work to me? Some people live to work while others work to live. Which person am I?
  • How will work fit in with what I want the rest of my life to look like? Picture yourself, five years down the road; ten years down the road. How do you want to be spending your time?

Increase Awareness

Increasing awareness of yourself (internal factors) and of the work world (external factors) can also help you in identifying a satisfying career.

Some internal factors to think about are: values and priorities, skills, interests, experience, family influence, and attitudes.

External factors include: knowledge about career possibilities, realities of the job market, education and/or skills required for different careers, salary and opportunity to advance, types of people in each field, and interviewing and getting the job you want.

“We can avoid making choices by doing nothing, but even that is a decision.”
~Gary Collins

Talk to Others

If you are struggling to answer some of these questions, you are not alone. Statistics tell us that 20-30% of college students and young adults are undecided about career choices.

This is a hard process to do alone. It can be very helpful to talk to others who are asking the same questions or those who have been through the process. The Counseling Center and the Career Center have counselors, programs and tests that can assist you. Best of all, everything is confidential and free.

More information is available at the Career Center website.


  • If communication or social anxiety are concerns for you, check out the Counseling Center group program. 581-1392


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