Quora Question of the Week: Choosing a Major or Career When You Have Too Many Interests

Do you have too many interests and don't know in which direction to take your career? We turn to the Quora community to see what members have to say about selecting the right career path, regardless of what tickles your fancy.

career path

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"I'm interested in too many things. How can I choose a major or career?"

Question originally posted on Quora by Career Advice.

One Quora member, Career Advice, posed the question about having too many interests and not knowing what major or career to pursue, beckoning veterans from a cocktail of industries to put their two cents in to help this member focus the lens on his ideal career.

Marcus Geduld, a computer programmer, has a simple answer to the question: Do what you love and your life will be richer. In other words, follow your dreams (aka interests) and create a career out of what you find most joy and fulfillment in, the money and "richness" will follow suit thereafter. Too many people seek out careers that offer copious amounts of money before considering the level of satisfaction that given job provides, and these people usually discover late in their careers that they were overworked and underpaid, despite bringing in six figures. A great takeaway form Geduld is to indulge in your other interests in your free time, either on weekends or in the evenings.

Jordan Ambra, a computer programmer, reminds us all to never limit ourselves by the confines of the industries or occupations we choose initially. Ambra had a desire to learn everything about his industry, eventually surpassing the senior mentors he once admired because of his eagerness, which helped him discover that the knowledge he acquired in his own field could be utilized in other unrelated industries, like persuasive writing. Ambra further supports this claim by stating, "Something I found while learning programming is that expert knowledge in a field is transferrable to other fields. No, I won't be an expert chef without practice, but I know how to solve problems, create reproducible steps to reach a desirable end result, and creatively solve problems because I've trained my brain to do that through programming. Those all apply to gourmet cooking as well." Touché, Jordan Ambra. It definitely pays to delve deep and wide in one's career aspirations because you never know what might pique your interest and lure you in another (career) direction. 

Steven Dillard, a trumpeter and dancer, also believes in following your dreams when he says, "Don't choose a career. Instead, let your work choose you. Do what is most interesting to you at the time and don't worry about how it fits together. When you look back twenty or thirty years from now, don't worry. It will all make sense." Well put, Dillard.

Rohit Seghal, founder and CEO of www.mapmytalent.in, provides a more practical answer by encouraging people to focus not on "interests" when choosing a life-long career path, but rather turn to what really matters down the road - a person's inherent talent(s). Seghal reminds us that the media is a great influencer when it comes to what our society finds interesting, which can be misleading once a young person jumps into the "real world" and begins their career. Interests and priorities shift throughout life, so basing a long-term decision (such as a person's career) off of what someone finds appealing now can be ambiguous. Therefore, in order to successfully choose a career path, Seghal encourages people to turn inward and consider their individual aptitudes and what works best given their own personalities. "The sooner one correctly finds" his own perfect "aptitude-personality mix" […] the better his chances of [a] successful and happy career" are. 

Tell Us What You Think

Did you have too many interests early on in your career? If so, how did you narrow down your choices and choose your current career? Share your story on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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1 Comment

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