Choosing a Career

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question that everyone gets, and is very difficult to answer for so many of us, especially if you try to figure it out on your own.


PLEASE don’t try to do this section by yourself. Reach out to your Eastside Career Coach and they can guide you through every step of this process.

Consider this: It is estimated that you will have 4 different careers in your life. Not 4 jobs. 4 careers.

Your dream job(s) might not be created yet. Only a few years ago, there was no iPhone, no apps, no YouTube, no streaming videos. Think about all of the industries, companies, and jobs created related to these things.


It’s difficult to predict exactly what you want to do when careers are constantly being innovated.

Design thinking is the best process to help you find your way in terms of career exploration. It was created at Stanford in their Design School, and we love this way of thinking and have adapted it to meet the needs of Eastside students and alumni.

We call it the Career Design Process.

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Reflect: This phase is about reflecting on your reactions to different experiences in your life (classes, jobs/internships, volunteer activities, hobbies, or informational interviews). Simply, this phase is about uncovering what you like/find interesting and dislike/do not find interesting and understanding why.

Define: This phase is about boiling down the most important interests from your reflections and putting them into categories that we call the Ideal Job Description.

Brainstorm: This phase is about taking your Ideal Job Description and coming up with as many possible career/job matches as possible.

Prototype: This phase is about choosing 3-5 careers that you are most interested in, sketching a timeline, and developing questions that would help you determine if you want to continue pursuing the career path or cross it off the list.

Test: This phase is about learning more and experiencing the career path in some way to gain insight on the questions you developed in the prototyping phase and help you reflect if you’d like to continue to pursue the path.

It’s not linear. You will jump back and forth between these phases as you try new things and reflect.