Out the Box Career Experience

As I watch and coach students through the process of choosing a major and career path, I am struck by how quickly we, as humans, tend to put our skills and various career options in a box. We've discussed before on this blog that it is rare for a major to define a career and likewise for a career to demand one major. So, why do we build this "box" mentality around choosing a major?

I suspect it has something to do with the fact that putting come kind of parameters on something that seems almost impossible to capture - the unknown future - brings us comfort. But I encourage you, as you explore major and career options this fall, as you sit in classes and as you work in part-time jobs and volunteer roles, that you push yourself to look outside the box. If you are doing something you LOVE but feel it has nothing to do with your career ambitions, write it down. Brainstorm later how you might MAKE it part of your career.

Just for some encouragement...I am a communication major, art minor undergrad with a master's in higher education administration with a counseling concentration. All but two years of my professional life has been spent in career counseling. But you know what else I love to do? Paint and draw! You know what I spent today doing on WORK time? PAINTING! We are planning a Welcome Week event for our students that involved creating a large plane to serve as a target for a game. Guess who volunteered to make this game come to life? You're pretty smart, so I'm assuming you guessed it correctly. It's me!

Truth be told, this has only happened twice. But you know what I do every day with my creativity as a career counselor? I create marketing and outreach initiatives. I built this blog. I contribute to the design of our website. I make resumes effective marketing pieces from an aesthetic point of view as well as content.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who can achieve an "out of the box" career experience. So this semester, I encourage you to have your own!

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