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Q: I have an undergraduate degree in business administration. I am interested in becoming an executive, but with limited professional work experience, where should I start? I would also like to know possible options that would offer decent pay within my field. In short, I would like a career goal map for obtaining professional success for a late-blooming 30-year-old college graduate.
—P. Ross Benton, MS
A: The problem with a question like this—and we get many of them—is that you can’t rely on someone else to chart your course to success. There are several industries, disciplines, and positions that I could suggest, but it would be missing an important component—your input. I’m not going to have to perform in any of the fields I suggest—you are. And before you can decide a direction of pursuit, you have to have an idea of your personal likes, dislikes, natural abilities, talents, and interests.
If you’re still drawing a blank, there are career counselors who can point you in the right direction, but don’t expect them to make career decisions for you. Based on the information you receive, spend time researching your options. Websites such as www.wet feet.com and www.vault.com can provide information on a variety of industries. Check out www.salary.com for salary information.
As for you being a late bloomer, it’s more significant that you’ve accomplished the first step toward a potentially rewarding career—once you figure out what it is.