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How do I know what job is best for me?

I am a junior in high school who is working hard to find a career in the future that I am satisfied with. I'm interested in becoming a pre-school teacher or a healthcare worker. #career-paths #careers #teacher #health-care

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Kevin A.’s Answer

Most people would ask you what you do well or where your interests lie but I think the best jobs are those where you control the creative process from start to finish.

For example, you have an idea, you plan how to execute on the idea, you follow your plan through (adjusting and learning of course as you go), you finish and then you test to see if you get the results you wanted (again tweaking to get the best possible outcome). When you see a finished result that you've controlled from beginning to end, that to me provides the biggest personal rewards and also leads to success because you will be happy in your work. For a pre-school teacher it might be how to execute the curriculum for the year. For a healthcare worker, if might be a patient's treatment plan.

All that said, you have to be practical too and research what professions are likely to be of value for the next 50 years. Pursue other areas of interest as you discover them as well because, not only will the world change, but you will too. Money is likely to become more important to you as you mature. I'm sure there are many people who planned well but have been replaced by a mobile application. Therefore, have backup plans.

All that said, I admire good teachers, I've never forgotten my kindergarten teacher and that was from decades ago. Healthcare has a lot of options--some very lucrative as well as rewarding. There are also many online degrees available too. The key is to get started. I would suggest finding a related job now while you are still in high school to see if you like it first. There you will meet people, see what is what, and find your passions.

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Choosing a career path is not difficult but it could be a situation where you find yourself in dilemma. The best thing I recommend for fellows is to think very deep and search thoroughly within and ask yourself; what do I enjoy doing most? When you answer this question , and found the answer, ask yourself again, would I do this wholeheartedly? The quest for career path is to have a profession that while working, you derive joy. So, at the end of the day, you are working, making money, and you are deriving joy.

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Simeon’s Answer

Have you considered being a pediatrician? You could work with kids all day and help make sure they stay healthy!

If you're confused about what career to choose, I would look at the department of labor's website for the fastest growing careers. If you don't know what you're interested in, it can help to see a list of potentially successful jobs and at least start to form an idea for the types of jobs you don't want. From there, if you identify any potentially interesting jobs, look them up on YouTube and see if the employees share about their favorite and least favorite parts of the job. Knowing the downsides of a given field can do a lot to give you clarity about which jobs to consider.

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Emma’s Answer

Have you considered speech-language pathology ("speech therapy")? It's a field that overlaps between education and healthcare in a really beautiful way.

What do speech-language pathologists (SLPs) do?

Lots of things! If you work in a school, you'll be helping kids with disabilities that affect their communication. This includes everything from pronouncing R to stuttering to having conversations. If you work in a hospital or other healthcare setting, you'll help people with swallowing, communication, and cognition. There are other settings too, like private practice or early intervention.

No matter what setting you're in, you'll be evaluating and treating. When you evaluate someone, you're figuring out why they're having problems communicating or swallowing and what their strengths are. It's like solving a puzzle! When you're treating, you're providing therapy to help people meet their goals.

Who do SLPs help?

In schools, you can expect kids with language disorders, developmental delays, autism, articulation disorders, and just about any other disability you can imagine. In a medical setting, you'll see a lot of people who have had strokes, traumatic brain injuries, dementia, and other progressive diseases like Parkinson's or ALS.

What education do you need to become an SLP?

You need a masters degree in speech-language pathology. You don't need to have a bachelor's degree in the subject, although you may need a few extra classes if you didn't take them already.

What is graduate school like for speech-language pathology?

You can expect a mix of courses and clinical work. Most programs last two years. Most people don't work while they're in graduate school because the programs are fairly demanding. As you finish graduate school, you'll take the PRAXIS in speech-language pathology and get certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA).

Is it easy to find jobs in speech-language pathology?

Yes! Depending on where you live, jobs in schools are the easiest to get, and it might be a little more work to get a job in a hospital or rehab facility. There is a lot of demand in this field!

Being an SLP is rewarding, engaging work. There is a lot of room for creativity and problem-solving! If you do it right, you'll make a real difference in people's lives.

Emma recommends the following next steps:

Visit https://www.asha.org/students/ and learn more about speech-language pathology
You could talk to the SLP in your school to find out more about the field
Stay on track for college, and when you get there, study something that interests you!