Find Your Calling Day was a big success on March 2. All in one day, thousands of students across the country used Find Your Calling to discover career matches and map realistic education paths, besides entering the FYC Day prize drawing for two college scholarships and three computers. (Congrats to the five winners!)
Many schools hosted FYC Day events where representatives from CareerBuilder presented Find Your Calling to high schoolers—such as George Westinghouse College Prep in Chicago, where CareerBuilder’s Brendan O’Neill demoed the website to 40 sophomores and juniors in an after-school event.
Brendan has a story that many of us can relate to. He graduated from college in 2004 with an English degree “because I thought that’s the degree I would need” in order to follow his dream: become a radio broadcaster. “I probably could have been doing a little bit more with my academic career if I had actually known what opportunities were the most in-demand, what you can expect to make, and the schools that would be top of mind for me,” Brendan told the students.
When he walked through Find Your Calling the students’ biggest reaction was one of surprise. Surprise about the depth of career data, surprise about how much money they could earn, and most of all surprise about the careers that FYC recommended based on their personality assessments.
“Each student agreed with their assessment results, and they were excited to see so much data presented in a way they could understand and have conversations around,” Brendan said. “Find Your Calling creates a road map: ‘What do I need to do over the next one, two, five years?’ You can try to convince students on your own, but when they actually see the data that illustrates ‘if this is what you want to do, this is the education you need’—it was enlightening.”
Find YOUR Calling…
One of the most important conversations that took place at Westinghouse was the need to find your calling. Not your friend’s, not your mom’s or dad’s—yours. Find Your Calling helped pull the students away from the merely automatic assumptions of peer or parental influence and center them on careers suited uniquely to them.
“Two students were discussing the differences between their personalities and their career matches,” Brendan said. “Everyone was discussing intensely what they would need to do in order to get the jobs they wanted—which is what it’s all about!”
Related to that was the crucial need to forge rational goals. You can have a dream career, but it pays to make it a realistic dream. For example: “Basketball,” said Brendan. “They all want to do it. But consider the odds! Look at how many kids are playing high school basketball, how many get into college, and how many finally make it into the NBA. It’s extremely competitive!”
Find Your Calling helped the Westinghouse students, who may or may not have already set their sights on a career (basketball or otherwise), to consider other occupations they would enjoy.
“You can be hardheaded about saying ‘No, this is the job that I want; I’m destined to become X,’ but the data in Find Your Calling helps you realize, okay, you can still do that, but here are other things that would be a great fit for your personality,” Brendan said. “Don’t shatter your dreams. Don’t even call it a back-up plan. Just know that you can do different things.”
Below are some inspiring FYC Day stories from high school and college students themselves, nationwide:
— Laurs (@lar_reynolds) March 2, 2016