In Response to the Question “What Are Your Career Goals?”

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By: Giovanna Gatto

Managing Editor- Editorial

The holiday season is a hard time for indecisive and career-confused college students. For the past four years I have returned home with the same struggle of seeing people who seem to have a great interest in where my life is going. My relatives, friends and neighbors all find it very important to ask me what my career goals are. What do you want to do with your life? Is it hard to get a job in your field?

   And for the past four years I have repeatedly forgotten all of my social skills and word vomit by saying, “Uh yeah, I wanna make stuff.” Luckily people usually just nod and walk away because I have made them as uncomfortable as I was when they first asked the question. However, this dreaded interrogation has now followed me outside of my home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and creeped into a interview that I recently went to.

   During the interview I was asked that same question and it took everything in my might to keep from rolling my eyes and grunting in annoyance. I could tell my subconscious had an instant disapproval of this vague and unfair question. Thankfully I responded genuinely, and exactly the way I had practiced 800 times in the mirror that morning. However, as we moved on from the question my mind started thinking about all of the people I know who stuck to their twenty-one-year-old career goals, and to my comfort very few knew exactly what their career would entail at that age. Sometimes people are lucky and understand exactly the steps that they want to take to get where they belong in life.

   However, at my last internship I found that this was not the common response. During my time at this internship, I spent a lot of time talking one-on-one with people who worked in various departments. By doing this I strived to learn more about what got them to where they are today. My initial idea was that I could stitch together all of their paths and make one that worked for me, but instead I found that it was nearly impossible to follow in the footsteps of others.

 Instead I learned about the alternative careers people had prior to their current role and how they used all of their experience to learn what they want out of a career. All in all, I learned that there is no path. This was an important lesson because it became clear that when I verbalize what my “career goals are,” my response should just ensure the person questioning me that everything will be okay. It is my stamp of approval that I have something figured out even if I don’t know what that is yet.

So to answer the golden question:

“What are your career goals?”

    I plan to make things, forever. In production, through writing, online and in person. My goal is to impact others with my work, in my career and in my everyday life.

   P.S. If a future employer is reading this one day, I also hope to grow as an individual though my work with ______ (insert company name here) and by furthering my passion for _____ (insert job title here).

   One day I will fill in those blanks. But for now I’m just happy with letting life decide what comes next.

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