Why you should start career exploration in high school
How many people have asked you what you want to be when you grow up? Or, what you want to major in? If your answer has been “I don’t know,” you are not alone! Many students go into college as undecided and take several years to declare their major. Even though this is extremely common, it does have its drawbacks: some students end up having to go to college for an extra semester or two because they didn’t declare a major soon enough. Also, it’s possible that you didn’t choose the college that would be best for your career choice. If you want to get the most out of your college experience high school is a great time to start exploring different options.
Career exploration in high school can be an incredibly helpful tool that students can use to find a career that is a good fit. Finding a career that is fulfilling, meaningful and something you enjoy doing every day can really impact your life. The average person spends 90,000 hours at work, or one-third of their life! What you choose to do as a career can really impact your quality of life. But how can you decide which career is right for you? The good news is that you can go through a series of activities to help you discover new career options and find out which ones might be a good fit for your future.
Career Discovery Class at Enrichment
This summer, let us help you find your path. Join fellow JKCP students as you embark on a journey through the endless career possibilities that lie ahead. During the week-long journey, you’ll participate in activities to help you unlock your interests. You’ll try your hand at tasks relating to fields across the board. High school goes by quickly, there’s no time like now to plan ahead.
How to Start Career Exploration
1. Self Assessment
The first step on your path to career discovery is first understanding yourself. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you enjoy public speaking or loathe it? Do you see yourself working with children or animals? Maybe starting your own business could be in your future! Obviously, people can change and grow, but understanding your natural strengths, weaknesses and interests can help you pinpoint certain options that are better suited for you. Our teachers work with students through different activities and tools to help them figure out answers to these questions and many others.
2. Career Exploration
The next step is exploring different career options. This part can be immensely helpful to a lot of students because it can open your eyes to many different career paths. I’m sure you know that becoming a doctor is a career option, but what about an audiologist, nutritionist, physical therapist or a wildlife biologist? The goal of this activity is to increase your knowledge about different career options. Understanding what the day-to-day job will entail, how much post-graduate schooling is needed and what the pay is are many facets you can explore for the different careers in this step.
3. Develop Goals
Once you have learned more about different career option you can start to narrow down your list by thinking about what your goals are for your future. You can start with short-term goals like where you want to go to college or what you want to do in the summer. Taking a class in the summer or maybe an internship could all be part of your short-term plan.
Some long-term goals that you can create will be more about what you want to accomplish and different aspects of your lifestyle. Goal examples might include where you want to live; if you want to be a marine biologist but you don’t ever want to move near the ocean or go out on boats, you might decide that it’s not the best career for you. Other goals might include how much money you want to make, how long you want to be in college or graduate school or a lifestyle you want in your life.
4. Deep Dive Into Your Potential List
By this point, you should have a list of career options in which you are interested. You can start to dive deeper into this short list and really research different aspects of the options. Not only can you research online to find out more about the job, but you can also search for job shadow opportunities, internships or even part-time jobs within the industry. The benefit of starting this process in high school is you will have several years to really explore different options. The internship program at JKCP is a great opportunity to get real job experience for three weeks in the summer. Many students say that it solidified a career interest for them and put them on the right path at a very early age.