How to Launch a “Cool†Career


Jenna writes:
I am currently trying to chose a career path. I will be going to college
soon taking medical radiography (to become an x-ray and ultrasound
technician); however I don’t think this is the career I really want (bad
hours and too much human suffering). I want to do something that is a
little unusual — not your average job. I want to retire early … comfortably.
I want to learn a lot of new things on my way. Some ideas I’ve had are:
commercial pilot architect something in astrophysics… What I really
want are ideas for cool careers. Careers that when someone asks you
what you do for your living they feel intimidated by your answer! I don’t
know what’s out there. Hopefully you do! So… any great ideas?



The Career Doctor responds:
What’s out there as a career for you? It’s a cliché but it’s true: if you
have the intelligence the determination and the resources just about
any career path can be yours.
But don’t think so much about one career shaping the rest of your life;
think more about a series of careers that span your lifetime some of
which may be related.
So the first big question is why are you majoring in something — perhaps
even attending a specific college because of it — that you have no real interest
in ever doing? Why not look into other colleges and careers before you make that final choice?
As for other careers…the best sources are your teachers and your family…
you can also conduct a lot of career research online using such sources as
the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Because you have a wide range of interests it might also be helpful to take
one or more career assessment tests; these tests work well in conjunction
with you own assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as well as
your likes and dislikes.
As you think about majors you might want to read my article
Choosing a
College Major: How to Chart Your Ideal Path
.
You also might find these two areas of Quintessential Careers especially helpful:

;

Jenna writes:
I am currently trying to chose a career path. I will be going to college
soon taking medical radiography (to become an x-ray and ultrasound
technician); however I don’t think this is the career I really want (bad
hours and too much human suffering). I want to do something that is a
little unusual — not your average job. I want to retire early … comfortably.
I want to learn a lot of new things on my way. Some ideas I’ve had are:
commercial pilot architect something in astrophysics… What I really
want are ideas for cool careers. Careers that when someone asks you
what you do for your living they feel intimidated by your answer! I don’t
know what’s out there. Hopefully you do! So… any great ideas?



The Career Doctor responds:
What’s out there as a career for you? It’s a cliché but it’s true: if you
have the intelligence the determination and the resources just about
any career path can be yours.
But don’t think so much about one career shaping the rest of your life;
think more about a series of careers that span your lifetime some of
which may be related.
So the first big question is why are you majoring in something — perhaps
even attending a specific college because of it — that you have no real interest
in ever doing? Why not look into other colleges and careers before you make that final choice?
As for other careers…the best sources are your teachers and your family…
you can also conduct a lot of career research online using such sources as
the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Because you have a wide range of interests it might also be helpful to take
one or more career assessment tests; these tests work well in conjunction
with you own assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as well as
your likes and dislikes.
As you think about majors you might want to read my article
Choosing a
College Major: How to Chart Your Ideal Path
.
You also might find these two areas of Quintessential Careers especially helpful:


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