I would say that you should start with thinking about what you like to do every day and start there. What are your strengths? What do you like to do? I think that starting with something that you are good at or that you enjoy will help make future jobs easier. I would say that you do research on those skills or preferences. For example, if you like to talk with people, consider a career where interacting with people is a key component. Do you like to help people or convince people? You could do teaching or sales with those skills. Do you prefer to work alone for long periods of time? Consider jobs where you spend lots of time alone, such as programming code, drawing, or writing scripts, books, songs, etc. Computer Science, Graphic Design, and Marketing all have elements of time where you are doing things on your own.
The key element of any career choice is you. Working can be difficult at time. It is easier to work if most of the time you are using your talents and doing something that you are passionate about.
First, you can make a career goal like your interest, core values, strength, and aptitude. A personality test like MBTI can be one of the options which can help discover your personality type. "O Net interest profiler" takes into account your values, interests, skills, and goals and will help you find which occupational field and career path best suit you and your character. These tests don't guarantee a perfect job, but these tests can help discover your working style, personality, and the environment you can thrive in.
Great questions, and you've already gotten a lot of great responses as well. My question to you is-- what excites you? For me, as an example, I always loved theme parks, I always loved making people smile-- so I now work for a world class theme park destination! It can be a challenge finding yourself and where to go, as there are SO many different professions and paths to take-- but just start out with what excites you and go from there. Once you've found a few interests, do some research on them and how you can grow a career from that! Another recommendation I have to not compare yourself to others-- some of your friends may have known what they wanted to do when they were 5 years old, other friends may not figure it out until they're in their late 40s-- just remember that everyone's story is different, and that's what makes everyone so cool!
1. Investigate the various careers that are around and what they entail. Websites such as careerzone (for CA, NY, or PA) or general searches of majors in colleges may assist in at least perking curiosity.
2. Take a personality quiz --- and be honest with it. For example, www.16personalities.com will include a section about Strengths and weaknesses, career paths, and workplace habits.
3. Do a self-assessment --- do you want... to be behind a desk? To be on your feet all day? To give presentations? To be the 'man behind the curtain?' Autonomy? To get up early or sleep in? To work 40 hrs and be done/not take work home with you? Deciding on the type of work environment you want, that also can eliminate some of the careers that you may have previously considered.
For me, my strengths are engaging with people, listening, writing and problem solving while having a passion for helping people. And that's how I fell into recruiting. I have helped so many people get jobs/change careers/start a career, etc. and it's truly rewarding. To me, nothing is better than making a job offer to a person who truly deserved it and hearing how happy and appreciative they are. Gives me butterflies :)
At the end of the day, stay true to yourself, stay in school and keep an open mind! Good luck!
You can utilize the California Career Zone website to help you explore industry sectors, fields of study, colleges and different occupations. You can also take a quick assessment to see what careers you might be interested in doing. The website is free to use and really provides good insight to what you may want to do as a career.