I love watching movies.
Sometimes, in a movie, I see a girl who knows from a very young age what she wants to be when she grows up. And the movie will go on to show how successful she becomes in her career. I envy her.
I have written many essays about my ambitions in primary schools. I had many ambitions. I wanted to grow up to be a soldier, teacher, scientist, artist, actress and movie director. But definitely not a dancer, this I knew for sure.
I have considered many options when I was choosing my college major – Japanese language, Mass Communication, Interior Designer and Advertising. The first major that I got accepted for enrolment at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Syracuse University was Architecture. I was taking science subjects including Physics, Chemistry and Biology in my secondary school. I was a science-stream student.
Yes – Architecture. I wanted to be an architect.
Then, the Asian Financial Crisis hit. My mum told me to pick a program that I can finish as fast as I can in case my family ran into financial problems.
At the end, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Financial and Economic Studies at the University of Western Ontario.
That’s the journey I took that shapes my career and where I am today.
Looking back, I can see there were four things that influenced my decision.
We are always encouraged to do well when we can feel a sense of achievement, no matter how big or small it is.
When I see a student who is confused with choosing the major that she wants these days, I always ask her to look at her strength. Try something that you are good at. At least, you will be motivated to grow in a field that you are good at, which in turn helps build your confidence to explore further and develop more.
Ask around and find out as much as you can about the career that you are interested in.
Ask your parents, school career adviser, friends, cousins, neighbours or anyone who is working in the fields of your interest. Find out not just about the salary level, but the nature of the work, including the tough and not so pleasant bits. Choose something that you will feel proud to tell others about what you do as well as something that you don’t mind putting in the hard work to achieve. Do as much research as you can and visit the workplaces and see your future career with your own eyes.
Don’t be afraid to be who you are and who you want to be.
Remember, choosing a major is your individual choice. Many people will tell you their opinions and whether they like or hate your choice. Ultimately, it is your decision. Therefore, you must own your choice and walk the journey ahead by doing your best. Be ready to face any challenges and changes as career pathways evolve rapidly, especially in the digital age. The career that you see when you start your tertiary study or vocational training may not be the same when you complete it.
Only passion can sustain your interests in your career in the long journey ahead.
You will struggle to develop a successful career in the long run if you do not have passion in what you do. Choose a pathway that you are passionate about. You will always strive to do well in what you like, no matter how tough the process is.
Perhaps one day when I make a movie about my journey, I will show how I SKIP to the career that I have today.