How I Escaped Traditional Career Counseling and Found My True Calling

Img Source - The ONE Group

Let’s face it, folks, our school career counselors mean well, but it feels like they’re just reading off a script. If you’re into STEM like me and you want something way more dynamic, stay with me for a sec. I ditched the old-school guidance and found something that actually understands this generation. It’s a game-changer, seriously.

So let me back up a bit. Most schools offer career advice, right? But if you’ve been to one of those sessions, you know it can feel sorta like they’re just checking a box. I felt like that until I stumbled upon something super different: Careers That Matter. Now, if you haven’t heard of them, they offer this awesome 10-week program that’s online and super flexible. What sets them apart is that they don’t just want to find you a job; they want to find you a career that you’ll be obsessed with and that actually does some good in the world.

Why did I start looking elsewhere? Simple: as someone super into STEM, the usual career counseling just wasn’t cutting it. They kept pointing me to the usual suspects—engineer, researcher, you know the drill. But when I took Careers That Matter’s Free Career Quiz and eventually joined the full program, it was a whole new ballgame. Right off the bat, they started asking the kinds of questions that actually mattered, not just ‘What’s your favorite subject?’ but more like, ‘What problem in the world are you dying to solve?’

Before this program, I was dead set on bioengineering, but I didn’t really know why, just that it sounded impressive and I was good at biology. The program helped me dig way deeper into what I’m passionate about, which turns out to be environmental sustainability. I realized my love for biology could be used for so much more.

Throughout the program, I discovered my ‘superpower’—the unique skill that sets me apart. For me, it’s my ability to look at complex systems and find ways to make them more sustainable. That led me to the idea of becoming an Environmental Systems Engineer (more details). To be honest, I didn’t know what an Environmental Systems Engineer was until I did this program. Now, I’m super excited about this career that lets me design and develop systems to tackle environmental issues. We’re talking about creating water purification systems, planning sustainable energy projects, and even figuring out how to reduce a city’s carbon footprint. It’s like being an engineer and an eco-hero at the same time!

As the program progressed, it wasn’t just about me finding what I wanted to do; it was about planning how to get there. I explored different avenues like internships, online courses, and even potential mentors in the field. And it wasn’t just a solo journey. I met other teens in the program who were making these massive shifts too. My friend Mark went from wanting to be a photographer to eyeing a career in visual storytelling for nonprofits.

If you’re still wondering what the extra perks are, let me tell you: the live workshops are super interactive, you can catch up with video summaries if you miss one, and the weekly challenges? Totally eye-opening. Plus, there’s this global community of teens you get to connect with, all going through the same ‘What am I gonna do with my life?’ questions.

So, do I recommend Careers That Matter? Absolutely. If you’re tired of the same old, same old and you want career guidance that’s as dynamic as you are, this is the program for you. No more guesswork, no more what-ifs, just a clear plan and a future I can’t wait to build.”

If you’re looking to find your own unique path, you can check out Careers That Matter at Trust me, you won’t regret it.