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Consider Your Future

Planning for your life after high school isn't something you need to do alone, but it's up to you to get the ball rolling. Luckily, you don't have to look far to find help.

Talk to anyone and everyone who will listen, including your school counselor, teachers, family members, activity advisors and other adults. Make sure they know what your goals are and that you're determined to reach them; don't be shy about asking questions. Make the most of what others know.

Confused about what you want to be when you're older? (Don't worry – a lot of adults are confused about that too!) You can do a few simple things that will help you narrow down the options.

Think About What You Like to Do

Generally, these are also things you're good at. Try to think about things that you like, such as:

  • Classes.
  • Activities.
  • Hobbies or pastimes.
  • Other interests. You might be a great video game designer or ice-cream flavor developer.

Research Online

Research college majors and careers with online programs such as ACT Career Assessment tool. This tool provides a free career assessment and then helps you research careers based on your interests, values, and skills. Visit ACT Profile to get started.

Look Into Careers That Interest You

Find out as much as you can about different careers. Research online and talk to adults you know in these fields. Ask your parents, school counselors and other adults for their advice.

Take the Right Classes

Make sure you take the high school classes you need for graduation and any you need for college admission if you're planning to attend college. Also take classes that just sound fun and that fit your career interests.

Get Some Hands-On Experience

Spend a day shadowing a person or some time volunteering in a field you're interested in. Think of your interests and then explore possible career options for those interests or ideas for volunteering. Use these ideas to help you think of places to look:

Animals, nature

  • Possible Careers: Marine biology, Zoologist
  • Volunteer Ideas: County Conservation Office

Clothes, sewing

  • Possible Careers: Fashion designer, Fashion buyer
  • Volunteer Ideas: Costume design for drama club

Research, reading

  • Possible Careers: Librarian, Research specialist
  • Volunteer Ideas: Local library or book store

Drawing, art

  • Possible Careers; Graphic Designer, Architecture
  • Volunteer Ideas: Logo design for area organization, School newspaper or yearbook

Sports, team activities

  • Possible Careers; Coach, Activities director
  • Volunteer Ideas: Youth camp, Daycare center 

Taking care of others

  • Possible Careers: Health Care, Customer Services
  • Volunteer Ideas: Local nursing home, Food pantry or soup kitchen

Explore Your Options

Now that you have some ideas, think them over. Is there anything that sounds great? Do you like two or three job ideas? Or are there several things you might like to try? Any of these can help you decide what to study in high school and beyond.

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