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How do I know what career path to take, and what steps do I need to take to find them?

I'm a sophomore in high school and I'm not sure what career path I want to take, and don't have any passions or hobbies I really like. I know nothing needs to be confirmed now but to start thinking. #career-path #high-school

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Jessica’s Answer

Great question Samiya,

I was very similar to you. I wasn't particular invested in any one subject or topic, but I did have a knack for math. That lead me to look into studying engineering, which does have a prerequisite for advanced mathematics. I would start thinking about what you're good out (even if you don't particular love it) and see what you find. There are some tests you can take like Strength Finder that can tell you what you are partial to (there is a cost to taking this one but there may be other ones that are free). You can always ask close friend and family what they think you're good at and use that as a jumping off point. If you have the chance to do some job shadowing with parents or friends of parents, it might help to see what types of job attributes you gravitate towards (flexible schedules, lots of freedom, opportunity to travel, lots of structure, public speaking, etc.).

Hope this helps!

Jess
Thank you comment icon Thanks so much for the thoughtful answer! Samiya
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Kim’s Answer

Hello Samiya
You have been given some excellent advice from mentors already. I would just add one more thing for consideration. Take Terence's advice one step further and compare your list of "what you like to do" and "what you are good at." Where you have matches or similarities will tell you more about your natural strengths that Jessica encouraged you to explore.
These revelations can be very empowering as you navigate the educational and career path. And because they are based on you individually you now will have some very important self-awareness tools to help keep you focused.
Best wishes to you.
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Terence’s Answer

First, it's great you're thinking about this at such an early stage. Keep your career path in mind, but I would say to be flexible with what it. As you grow, develop more experience, and are exposed to more areas, your views and interests will change. Start taking stock of the things that you're interested in or that you're passionate about. When I work with people on developing a career path, I focus on 3 areas:

1) What do you like to do?
2) What don't you like to do?
3) What're you good at?

The first 2 ("like/don't like") are a focus more on your personality - do you love large problems or specific issues? Do you like to be highly organized and structured, or are you comfortable with less/no structure that you need to build? Do you like to build new things or generate new ideas, or do you like to make existing things work better?

The 3rd is more around what you're good at in the workplace, your professional skillset if you want to think of it this way.

An example for me was that I knew that I liked to look at large problems and make things work better. I knew I didn't like minute details and intricate problems. With my interest in tech, I knew that I would not want to work as a developer. Instead, I focused on the business side of the tech industry. I was great at building teams and organizations, leading me to operations roles.
Thank you comment icon Thanks so much for answering, I really appreciate it! Samiya
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi, Samiya,

There are many different free tools that are useful in helping one match interests with careers. The Holland Code asks you to respond to a series of questions and then provides you with a code that can be aligned with careers. You can read about the Holland Code here: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/the-holland-code-526166 If you want more information about how the Holland Code works, google video about Holland Code. There are quite a few that will provide you with a good overview.

You can take the free quiz here: https://www.roguecc.edu/Counseling/HollandCodes/about.asp

After you have taken the test, you can use your code to research careers. If there is a career you like, do a google search to find a video which describes that career. For example I just googled "Digital Marketing Analyst" and found a YouTube video about it.

I hope this helps you.
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Simeon’s Answer

In general, I would go to the department of labor's website (https://www.dol.gov/) and see which fields are growing quickly these days. If you're drawing a blank on what you'd like to do, see if any of the fast growing fields call out to you. This will give you a lot more structure than trying to get a vague sense of your passions and trying to brainstorm a way to turn it into money. Most people don't have a passion that they are aware of right away. Also, passions tend to change from season to season. Lastly, look at videos on YouTube of people in their careers talking about what they love and hate. See if any of their descriptions sound like a good fit for you. It's just as important to figure out if you can deal with the downsides of a job as it is to figure out what you'd love about a job.
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