Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to 1,700 local elementary school students. (Yes, you read that correctly, 1,700 of them!)
This event was created by the Hofstra Athletics Department and was called “What I Want to Be Day.” Professionals from both Hofstra and non-Hofstra organizations spoke about what they do in their job.
I briefly told them what I do as a career counselor, and then started a short exercise with them. Since many of the students had already said that they wanted to go into professional sports as a career, I asked them to name other jobs that a sports fan can do, aside from playing the sport. Lots of hands went up enthusiastically. I received answers like “commentator”, “sports doctor”, “manager”, and “trainer.” The goal of this exercise was to let the kids know that you can pursue your interests, even in a way that you did not originally imagine. Not every one of those kids is going to be a professional athlete, but each can still work in that industry if they choose.
This activity is one that we do often with college students. Career counselors work with students to help them see that there are often a multitude of career possibilities within a given area of interest, aside from the one that may seem the most obvious to them.
Sometimes we can’t obtain our “fantasy job”, but if we explore a bit, we may be able to come close!
Director of External Relations