Having a Major Panic Attack?
Let me take you back to your first year in university, or if you’re in your first year, then remember trying to decide on your major. Did you immediately find out what you wanted to commit to after looking through SFU’s program list? Perhaps you were looking at various university programs, trying to decide which university to go to. If you easily picked out your major and instantly knew what you wanted to do, I applaud you. You’re one of the few. Most of us are still busy trying to figure out if we’re in the right major, even as late as our third years and fourth years. As a student who has experienced forked roads and indecision, I understand how difficult and overwhelming it could be to choose that one perfect career for you. Reality is you don’t pick one career; you take on various careers based on the opportunities you’ve been given. Now the question becomes, how do you open up those opportunities? Start by volunteering.
Keep Calm and Volunteer
Whether it’son campus or within your community, seeking out volunteer positions is a great way for you to figure out what industry, particular job, and specific skillyou want to learn, explore, and finally decide on. These opportunities open up doors by expanding your network, helping you gain relevant and transferable skills, and most importantly they act as a gateway to discovering yourself. For some people; it’s as clear as day, they don’t have to go through this. But, that is just some people. For most people – like you and me – we have to figure it out and try to find all the right pieces before finally putting them all together.
Feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Begin by finding an organization whose values you align with. If you align with an organization whose cause you believe in, it can push you to keep on going. This will see you through the tough times, particularly if you’re taking a full course load along with it. From then on, try to look for similar organizations with similar causes, or maybe even try one that’s completely different just for the heck of it! At this point in time, you may not know which organizations you want to work with. If so, pick one that piques your interest. What’s more important is that you immerse yourself in the experience and the role. This means you take the time to learn about the organization, your role in it, and what are the outcomes that the organization is trying to achieve. It also helps if you work with amazing people everyday – that could be one reason you pick a particular organization too!
What I want to leave you with is the thought that volunteering – though, I understand is unpaid and extra work on top of school– is not just a padding on your resume. More importantly, it is an experience. An experience that shows you what you can do and what you can be. It can help pave the path towards that “perfect career” that you were aiming for.