If you are a parent or guardian, now is the time to help your high school student explore their career options. This is a crucial part of college preparation, and can also set them up for success after graduation.
One of the best ways to find career ideas is to talk to people who are in those fields. Ask your parents, friends, teachers, and counselors if they know of anyone who works in the occupation you are interested in.
1. Make a List
When it comes to careers, it’s important to make a list of possible options. This will allow you to consider your skills, interests and other factors that could affect your career path.
It’s also a good idea to make a list of your top strengths and weaknesses. You can then use this information to find the right career path for you.
Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during high school, so it’s essential to do it right! Help your students to choose a career that will be rewarding and interesting.
2. Try a Part-Time Job
Getting a part-time job can be a good way to earn extra money, get experience and build your resume. It can also help you find out what your career path is and what you enjoy doing.
Many fast-food establishments and retail stores hire high school students for part-time positions. These jobs can be flexible and offer after-school or day shifts, so they are great for teens who want to earn some money.
Regardless of the type of part-time job you choose, it is important to find one that does not interfere with your studies. Make sure to schedule your work around your school’s hours and follow the laws for working with people under 18.
3. Take Electives
If you’re not sure what career you want to pursue, taking some electives in high school can be a great way to explore different options. Whether you’re interested in studying the arts, sports, computer science or anything else, you can take an elective class to help you figure out what you love and what you want to do.
Core classes are essential for graduation, but electives can also enhance your educational experience and make college applications stronger. Plus, they’re less work than core courses and can be a lot more fun!
4. Talk to Your Teachers
Teachers are often a source of information about possible careers, so it’s important to keep in touch with them. They can also help you prepare for college and career-related testing, write recommendation letters, and connect you with scholarships or admissions opportunities.
Having these conversations will give you experience in self-advocating and building relationships with adults who have power over your life. This will be helpful as you move on to college, when you’ll need to talk to even more adults about your plans.
5. Take a Career Assessment
Career assessments are a useful tool for helping students explore the possibilities of careers that interest them. They can also give them an idea of which majors to pursue in college.
These tests are often free and can be used to assess skills, interests, values, and personality preferences. Some are more quantitative in nature, while others are more qualitative exercises.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a common tool for this purpose. It identifies 16 personality types, and helps you discover which career options will best fit your individual style and strengths.
6. Go to Career Fairs
A career fair is a great way to connect with potential employers and get a feel for what it's like to work in a specific field. It's also an opportunity to practice your interview skills.
Before the event, research participating employers to identify those that align with your interests and skill confidence (see more in Chapter 5) and develop a priority list. Create a map of the job fair and use it to determine who you'd like to meet with first.
Preparing students, executing an effective event and maintaining high quality follow-up afterward are essential for success at a career fair. Gather and implement information about student interests, host pre-fair activities and workshops to ensure they're engaged, prepare for the event, and measure its impact.
7. Talk to Your Parents
Talking to your parents about potential career ideas is a great way to get their input. They may even be able to help you figure out if this career choice is right for you.
If you decide to discuss your potential career plans with your parents, make sure to schedule a time that's convenient for both of you. This will ensure that your parents can give their full attention to the conversation and not be distracted by other things going on around them.
It's also a good idea to try and be honest with your parents about any issues you are struggling with. This will make them more likely to understand you and help you work through your problems.