Discovering the Career That’s Right for You

By the time you’ve gotten to high school, you probably have a pretty good idea about what you want to be when you grow up! Or, do you?

The good news is that there are so many career choices out there that your possibilities are unlimited! The bad news is that there are so many career choices out there that your possibilities are unlimited!

So, where should you begin? Where do you look to find the career that’s going to make you get up every day, exclaiming, “I GET to go to work today!” instead of moaning, “I HAVE to go to work today!” How are you going to find the one thing that you are passionate about?

First, let’s define passion. Imagine yourself doing something you love to do; something that makes time pass effortlessly and unnoticed; something that you feel great doing; and, something that you just naturally do well. That’s passion-- and your job right now is to translate that passion into a career you will love for a lifetime.

After all the years you’ve spent in school, you know where your talents lie! Just think about what subjects have been effortless – maybe it’s writing or art or math. Now, add in other areas you are interested in, and you will have a pretty good idea of where to direct your attention. For instance, if you are a math whiz, and art is a proven talent, perhaps architecture might be your calling.

By now, you have discussed your future career potential with your parents, your teachers, and your counselors, but now it’s time for you to get serious about it. There are unlimited resources out there to answer your questions, and steer you in the right direction. For many careers, you can gain valuable knowledge and experience by volunteering in that area to test the waters. Read! Read everything from salary projections to professional websites to blogs by those already in the field to discover what you might be getting into.

Finally, after you’ve done your research, look for colleges or universities that feature those career sets, and visit them – on line or in person. Apply for scholarships directed toward students with your same talents and future career aspirations.

One of the most valuable lessons you will ever learn is that those people who are happiest in what they do are the most satisfied with their lives. Now is the time to explore and examine every possibility around you to determine where you wish to be in the future. Get out there and see what you can find. Remember, the journey should be exciting, but the destination is just as important!

Resources

America’s Career Infonet

This is a valuable link containing all kinds of information to help you discover your career path. The website is user friendly and helps you navigate through career choices, related salaries and benefits, and includes educational requirements for each. There are videos, self-assessment tools, and many other resources to guide you on your way.
www.americascareerinfonet.com

Career Kids

If you go to this link you will find listings of over 100 careers – ranging from judge to dog walker. For each, there are job descriptions, education requirements, a look at working conditions, and possible salary ranges. You are guaranteed to find some unusual careers on this list – some you haven’t even thought of before – and one of them just might be right for you.
www.careerkids.com

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

This site might sound stuffy, but it is far from it. This is a link with all the up to date information needed to guide you to the perfect career. Colorful and very user friendly, it supplies lots of details about different choices based on what you are interested in.
www.stats.bls.gov

Military Career Choices

Perhaps a career in the military is for you. There are a wide range of choices available in areas that might be right up your alley. And, along with the opportunity for a career, the military can be helpful in financing you education, too. Check out this website to find out about possible careers, salary ranges, education requirements, and intangible benefits offered by the military.
www.todaysmilitary.com

Occupational Outlook Handbook

On this website – another one developed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – you will find up to date information about job duties, education requirements, projected earnings, and many other topics. The handbook is updated every two years.
www.bls.gov/oco/

Surf Net Kids

This is a website designed for kids to help them through the maze of career choice. In addition to some handy tricks to help you on your way, you will find games, tips for parents, and a number of other clever ideas.
www.surfnetkids.com/career

Other Related Links and Resources

Recommended Books