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Job advice

Question :

Dear Doctors,

My name is Kevin, went to high school in Hong Kong and moved to US for college. I have one more semester till a graduate. However, I decided to take a gap year and teach and travel in Korea.
So, I will go back to the US Sep 2014 and graduate on Dec 2014.

The main reason why I took a gap year is because I have no idea what I want to do. I did a few internship in a bank, a consulting company but I hated all the office job.

Now, I am planning on apply to the Police Inspector job but I do not know how I should proceed.

Now my questions,
1. how should I find out what I want to do in life? I do not want to go to work just for the money.
2. I cannot apply for the PI position while I am in the US for my last semester. So, I would either have to come back post-grad or go through the recruitment process around May 2014. However, I believe if I come back post-grad, I will waste 4 months of my time waiting for the Police Force reply and I will have to deny all the jobs offer in the US. What should I do?


Posted by Kevin on Thursday, 01 Aug 2013

Comments :

Debbie Matson - Career Doctor

Posted Tuesday 20th August 2013 12:05:00 AM


Dear Kevin Don't panic! Many people don't know what they want, and odds are that you will make significant career changes several times in your life. Your first job is about getting experience, learning to work with people, taking responsibility and delivering quality product or service to your customer base. These skills may take on dramatically different shape later in your career. The key is to begin the process of exploring what is really important to you, and choosing a path that will motivate and interest you. You are still 18 months away from graduation and have plenty of time to think and explore. Why did you choose Korea and what is your interest in being a Police Inspector? It sounds like you are mixing many options and putting yourself under a lot of pressure. I would suggest that you start by considering these last years of schooling. What subjects have you enjoyed? Where have you performed particularly well? Do you have good relationships with any of your teachers? Use that information and go and speak to professors in your field. They can give you an indication of where students with your profile have gone to work. They may also know of jobs in their fields or have internships or research projects to suggest. Also, go visit the Career Services office at your school. The office exists to help you answer the question, what should I do? Get to know the people working in Career Services. They can refer you to employers and alumni who call in looking to hire. You may want to consider a temporary contract position. Working in a contract job will give you flexibility. You will get training and experience while having an opportunity to assess the pros and cons of the company and the type of job. If you are happy in a contract job, you can use the skills you develop as the basis for your search for a permanent position in the field. Also you can work in contract positions while waiting to hear from the police department, if that is a real goal. If you are interested in being a Police Inspector, have you looked at other positions in Law Enforcement? What are the educational and vocational skills required for these jobs? Make sure that you are taking the right courses to cover any requirements. In terms of location, do you want to be in the US or Hong Kong? If you are indifferent, then launch your search in both markets. If you have a true preference for one location, then focus your search there and don't get distracted. What is your visa status in the US? Are you eligible to work in the US? If not, make sure to target companies that have the ability to support a work visa application. Money is always a factor in work. It is great that you don't want to work just for money, but it is important to understand the salaries paid within the career path you choose, and that you can support your chosen lifestyle on that salary. It sounds like you have a good education and have seen a lot of the world. It will just take a little time to synthesize your education and experiences to date and develop an action plan to get you into the next stage of your life.

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