Consider Your Interests
Many people overlook their own personal interests when making career decisions. Given the fact that you’ve devoted years to satisfying your intellectual curiosity, you’re probably not one of them. But do consider your personal interests alongside your professional ones. Sometimes the activities we pursue in our free time can be just as meaningful to us as our professional interests, so it’s worth taking the time to think seriously–and critically–about what you do for fun. Answer the following questions with as much detail as possible:
What are your academic interests? Which intellectual questions intrigue you? Which subjects do you enjoy reading about, and what topics did you enjoy discussing with your professors and fellow students?
What are your nonacademic interests? What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies? With whom do you spend the most time? How would you spend an ideal weekend?
What do you like to read? What kinds of nonacademic books do you enjoy reading? Which genres? On what topics? For those of who you read broadly, which genres would you say you’ve read most deeply? Which nonacademic blogs and websites do you read? Think critically about why you may be drawn to certain types of content and not others.
Where do you go on vacation? Where have you spent your best vacations? Indoors? Outdoors? In the forest, or at the beach, or abroad? What kinds of activities did you do on vacation? Physical activities? Intellectual activities? Edible activities? For that matter, is traveling itself something you enjoy, or would you prefer to stay home?