“Fall” Into a Career


Some people have a laser focus and have always known what they want to do in a career. Others of us don’t have that singular vision and are open to more possibilities. My elementary school dreams of being a professional cereal taster didn’t work out, but I sort of “fell” into my career based on my experience in college.

An unexpected class, part-time job, student leadership experience or volunteer service project can lead you to realize a whole new career path or area of study that you didn’t know existed. Take the case of Mizzou alum, Dr. Jeffrey Bonner, CEO & President of the St. Louis Zoo. Dr. Bonner arrived at Mizzou undeclared and when he attended one of his required general education classes, Anthropology, he fell in love. He decided to pursue a doctorate and then returned to his native St. Louis to develop the Science Center and then lead the Zoo.

Dr. Bonner’s career calling occurred by chance, but some people might call it Planned Happenstance. Planned Happenstance is the viewpoint that chance events and personal encounters can turn into actual opportunities. In the case of Dr. Bonner, a first-year course tuned into a passion for his field and a vocation.

To be open to new possibilities it requires you to keep an open mind, be curious and show a willingness to take risks. By trying new things and meeting new people you can put yourself into situations where you can have a transformational experience.

So this autumn season as the weather cools, you enjoy pumpkin spiced treats and take in a football game, also think about the ways you can open up yourself to new possibilities and experiences that may have you falling for a new career.