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Would you say that trying to figure out what career you want to pursue when your young is helpful later in life

I am a middle school student who wants to know if thinking about your career when your young is good or if you should wait to worry about careers and jobs until later in life. #career #future #career-path #life

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Merrick’s Answer

Hi! For me, I think it's about how specific you need to be at different ages in your life when thinking about a future career path. I'll use myself as an example - when I was young, I knew I wanted to be a musician. So, I took classes in school and played in music organizations outside of school. Other than that though, I didn't really know what part of the music business I would want to be in. At that age (this was middle school), that was totally fine. I had generally pointed myself in the direction of music but didn't feel the need to be more specific. As I got older (around high school), I needed to focus a bit more. I knew I wanted to be a musician, but what kind? Did I want to be a performer, focus on being a teacher, or perhaps a music historian. So, I needed to think more on that. Once I was in college, I needed to be even more focused. I chose performance as my major, but did I want to be a solo performer, play in a small group, or play in an orchestra (or some of all of those)?

Overall, I think it is fine to think about your career path at any point in your life, but don't let it overshadow things. Life is filled with a lot of opportunities and possibilities, so sometimes narrowing too soon can lead to missing other opportunities.

Of course, I say all of this, and now I'm not even a professional musician! So, even with all that planning and focus I did, I ended up in a completely different career path than the one I thought I would have when I was younger!


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Roger’s Answer

Most adults end up working in an area very different from what they thought they would, even just a few years in the past, much less when they were young. I would recommend that when you are young, you not worry too much about your future careers--plural because you will most likely have more than one throughout your life. Certainly explore what interests you, and learn about different fields of knowledge and different kinds of jobs and careers. Ultimately, when you finally discover your true calling, it will probably greatly surprise you. So staying flexible and exploring many interests when you are young is more important, I think, than getting too worried about what career you should follow.

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Serena’s Answer

Hi Jwilly,

well done for thinking ahead for your future!
I believe the earlier you discover where your interest lies,
the better it is for you to plan ahead for your future.
Your interest may change as you grow up but it is good to explore if you can build a career from your interest.
Starting early, as early as from middle school,
allow you to have ample time for trial and error,
rather than simply waiting till you file your major applications in university.
Start by exploring your interest, share with your family, teacher and friends,
ask them for guidance or referral to people who may be working in your interested field,
you can build connections with them to understand what it takes to be in similar positions in the future,
and better evaluate if this is the career you want to lead in the future.

Good luck!

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Christine’s Answer

Having aspirations at a young age on what you want to become you grow up is totally okay. It gives you the motivation to have something to look forward to.

But having such should also not limit you to explore other things. Having a goal in mind is okay but you need to be open as well to learn new things, it sets you in a good place for self-discovery, what you want now might be totally different from the paths you take when you reached your adult life. One thing is for sure just enjoy every moment of your decision-making, there will always be uncertainty but you'll always end up in a good place that is for sure!

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Mark’s Answer

I definitely wouldn't worry about it now in middle school, however it's great that at your young age your thinking ahead! Focus on your hobbies...activities you enjoy doing, sports, singing, playing instruments even playing video games. The time we live in, its quite amazing just how many opportunities are available. Take your hobbies serious because it could possibly be your career one day. Some parents find YouTube as a problem, I love it! You can learn so much, how to play an instrument, learn to code and make a game, learn a different language! Have fun and enjoy your childhood but be open minded.

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Hira’s Answer

Your career path and decisions evolve as you grow. What you enjoy doing earlier in your career might not be what you'd enjoy forever, it all depends on your circumstances at each point in your life.

The key is to always stick to your strengths.

So I'd recommend you to try a few things first and see what you're interested in, see if you enjoy helping people or managing projects, or coming up with ideas, creating things, and decide from there.

Always remember, do what you love doing, it'll make your career and life so much easier.

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Simeon’s Answer

I wouldn't worry too much about making a career decision early on. I'd recommend learning as much as you can about the fields that interest you and give yourself time to get to know your own interests and hobbies. Most people hop around in life these days from company to company and from career to career. Just enjoy the fun of the present and feed your curiosity about the job options that are out there. Watch videos on YouTube and look up what it's like in different jobs.

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Ben’s Answer

Sometimes looking at career trends helps to give you some ideas about what careers might be of interest to you. Identifying career fields that are growing and align with your interests might be a good place to start exploring. That said, don’t feel too much pressure to know what you want to do, it is okay to learn and explore. The link below is a good place to start looking at career trends.

Ben recommends the following next steps:

Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics https://www.bls.gov/ooh/