Important Steps To Choosing The Correct Career Path After High School
At some point during highschool, you’re going to be faced with a dreaded choice.
Someone is going to ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Grow up? Who said you have to grow up?
Apparently, all the grown ups.
Your options are diverse:
· Enter the workforce
· Go to college/university
· Go into the trades
· Work abroad
· Take time to find yourself
How do you choose? Most of your options take an investment in time and money.
Audit your desires
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Twenty? Before you start your journey, you need to know where you want to be. To understand that, you should look at what makes you happy. What have you been proud to accomplish? Not sure? Get out and try some more experiences.
Pro Tip: Start recognizing what you like as soon as you enter highschool.
Review what jobs align with those desires
Over time, you’ll recognize that some of the themes within your desires will align with certain vocations. For instance, if you find yourself enjoying working with computers, you have several options in high tech. Additionally, if you are good working with your hands, the trades may be an option.
Pro Tip: Even if others have a desire for you to follow a specific path, this is your journey and your decision to make.
Research what’s necessary
Once you have a few options that may work, research what it will take to enter those fields. Some may require more than others. Many careers require specialized training. To determine what they need, you will often find those requirements on professional websites. Accountants, most medical fields, trades, can all be found on their professional websites.
It’s a good idea to explore several fields to ensure one will work for you. Some careers are limited and while it’s always good to have ambitious aspirations, you also want to be realistic.
There are often different paths you can travel to get to the same destination. When you know where you want to be, you can chart different paths. Research different post-secondary options that will lead you to the career. This could mean apprenticing through a local trade company or attending a college or university.
Pro Tip: Your highschool will be able to provide information on funding options if you choose post-secondary schooling.
So, you want to be a lawyer, or a doctor, or nurse; the list can go on. Before you set yourself on a long path that may not be for you, take some time to visit with people already in those fields. Who better to explain the requirements than those already working them? Your desires may be reinforced, but you may also find the work isn’t for you.
Pro Tip: Volunteering your time may help you experience some careers first hand.
It’s all about you
Your career is just that, yours. As soon as you enter highschool, you should be concerned about what possibilities are available to you. That’s not to say you should know what you want on the first day of school. You need to explore what options are enjoyable and self-sustaining. There are many careers that didn’t exist even a few years ago and there are some that will soon disappear. You want to choose a path that will be fulfilling. Recognize that you may have career changes in your life, but don’t expect they should happen too often. Many careers are an investment and require your full effort. If they aren’t fulfilling, it’s best to know before you set off down the long road.
Never let someone else dictate your career path. Every job is important, but you should always be reaching to your own personal best. Being a farmer or field tech can be just as rewarding and fulfilling as being a lawyer or doctor. What matters is that you do it for yourself.
You may need time to figure things out. This could include doing another year of highschool, travelling, or getting a job for a time until you’re ready to continue on your journey. Just remember that you can fall into a habit of not reaching for your goals unless you keep yourself on target.