Evaluating Strengths After Life-Changing Event


Anonymous writes:
I am a 20 year old who had to withdraw from college because of an automobile accident. My therapy/recovery is coming to an end. The free time I’ve had has presented the opportunity to question where I want to go career and college wise. I struggled for a year and a half at a small liberal-arts college — my effort was minimal and my grades show it. The accident and long recovery has given me a greater appreciation for what I need to do to be successful. I’ve always been very handy and enjoy taking things apart — I would probably be a great engineer but my lack of math and science skills would make it difficult. Any advice on how to evaluate my strengths/weaknesses and where I might go from here??


The Career Doctor responds:
I find it interesting that there are many people who have experiences that change their lives forever — and often for the good. I certainly hope you are well on the road to recovery and I extend my best wishes to you.
But based on your own assessment of your previous college experience this accident sounds like it served as a wake-up call for you … and I wish you the best in moving ahead with your quest.
I talk a lot to my students and clients about finding their work and career passion — and that is what you need to do now. You have already taken a couple of steps in the right direction but there are more steps to take. I’m going to give you a few Web resources but first I have to tell you that this process is tough. It’s going to take some work in matching up your talents skills and interests with one or more potential careers. Be prepared to commit a fair amount of time to the process. This process is a journey and for most people not a short one.
I think a great place to start is my article Choosing a College Major: How to Chart Your Ideal Path. This article takes you through the six steps necessary to make your journey to career self-discovery. It also includes some great resources including other Websites and some useful books.
I also suggest you review some of the other articles we’ve published on Quintessential Careers specifically in our Career Planning Articles section which includes an article on completing a SWOT analysis (where you will complete an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses).