Career Prep in High School
If you don't know yet what you might like to do, don't worry: You don't have to identify a career for life. The important thing is to figure out what you like to do by choosing classes and activities that both fit your interests, and challenge you to explore something new. This will help you set goals, discover your interests, and a potential future career.
Your career assessment results will guide you toward classes that expand your experiences and explore areas of interest you may, or may not, be familiar with. Once you've narrowed down your assessment results to a pathway or career field, try them on for size. These activities can help you experiment with different careers and learn if the day in and day out activities of a career is truly of interest.
- Enroll in a class in a particular area of interest to help you decide if you like the subject and if you have or can learn the skills needed.
- Attend a career and college fair such as Golden Circle or ICR and explore the connections between the job you want and the education required to get there.
- Participate in career days and mentoring programs sponsored by your school.
- Check with local organizations and businesses for volunteer and job-shadowing opportunities.
- Search for internships at local businesses or organizations.
- Choose part-time jobs that allow you to gain experience and help you build skills in your chosen career.
- Participate in extracurricular activities and take advantage of leadership opportunities.
- Join clubs that relate to your chosen field.
- Talk to professionals in the field or call a college and ask to speak with faculty members to find out more information.
An Added Bonus
Experimenting with careers will not only help you plan for the future; it will also make you a better candidate for a job. While your education and relevant work experience are important factors in landing a job, employers look for specific skills and personal characteristics in a potential employee.
This list shows skills and traits employers want.
- Analytical and research skills. Can you find the answers to problems?
- Computer and technical skills. Do you have the know-how to do the job?
- Communication skills (listening, verbal and written). Do people understand what you want? Do you understand what they want?
- Dedication and loyalty. Can you be counted on to show up and work every day? Do you believe in the company's mission?
- Flexibility and adaptability. Can you roll with the punches? Does change bother you?
- Honesty and integrity. Can others count on you?
- Interpersonal skills. Are you sensitive to others' backgrounds and issues? Do you relate well to others?
- Leadership and management skills. Can you lead a team and organize projects?
- Motivation and initiative. Can you start a project with little or no direction? Do you learn new things easily?
- Planning and organizing ability. Do you pay attention to details? Can you prioritize several projects?
- Reasoning and problem-solving ability. How do you react when something goes wrong? Do you have new or unique solutions to problems?
- Self-confidence and reliability. Can you work on your own without a lot of supervision?