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Career Planning

How should I begin managing my future in preparing steps to take before college and after?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Alia’s Answer

Hi Michelle! It's fantastic that you're thinking about your future now. This gives you a goal to strive towards. In the journey, remember that it's totally okay for the end goal to change, so long as you're progressing. This is how I feel is the best way to plan for the future:

1) Think about the BIG Picture - What do you want to be at end? What is the career you're passionate about? How do you want to make a difference in the world? Have that clear, write it down and think big! You're so much more influential than you think.

2) What is your 1% of the day? - Now that you have the big picture, break them down into small, actionable items. Everyday you wake up, think what can I do today so that I can be 1% closer to my goal - Remember, ambition and passion are great, but they're nothing without consistency - consistency is the most valuable tool that you can have to achieve what you want.
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Michelle
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Jacqueline’s Answer

hi Michelle, it's great to see you thinking of preparing for the future! For a first step, think about your interests and the several options you might already be considering. Sometimes, this is really unclear in the beginning and that is totally ok!. if you know what you might want, talk to people in those jobs, students studying the courses, approach the teachers in college teaching those subjects - these are the experts who can tell you how it is like, and what it might take. College is a great fun, it is also the time when many of us build great friendships that last through a lifetime.

also career is never set in stone and it can changes dramatically after college. What really helps is to first follow your heart and adapt to learning the skills that will help you be effective. the best skills that apply in all careers are people related, communication skills and a growth mindset and strive for personal improvements , professionally and personally. Don't be afraid to ask people for help . hope this helps
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Michelle
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. This is a very common question that many high school students are facing. First of all, you may find what careers you would like to pursue.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Find out what you would like to do. Think about your hobbies, favourite subjects, etc and the related careers.
E.g. If you are interested in Maths, would you like to be an accountant, banker, engineer, financial analyst, maths teacher, etc.
If you are interested in Music, would you like to be a musician, singer, composer, music producer, music teacher, etc.
2. Find our more on these careers
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers . Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counselor, your parents etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers
5. Find out the entry criteria of the relevant subjects in the college
6. Explore any intern opportunities
7. You may still need to continue the professional development after graduation that subject to the career needs
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Michelle
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Baljit’s Answer

Hi Michelle,
Before college: Its time to take a look at the career you have in mind in detail. Look at prospective colleges and what kind of courses they offer. Something will always peek your interests. Take advanced/ college level classes. Look into a summer job, internship and volunteering. Take extra credit and also do some extra curricular classes. Also you may want to look at companies that offer to help in applying to college. It can get expensive but it does work if you try.

After college: Keep on applying for jobs albeit volunteering or paid. Take refresher courses and list it on your resume too.
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Asish’s Answer

The question is very broad, if you are looking for specific answers, happy to do that. But some general advice below:
1. Find your passion, the best would be good to first know what you like and passionate about.
2. Then, you can then start thinking if you know where and how to study about it.
3. Look at web, ask people who have done it. Look for advisors who can direct how you can find the right choices
4. If you have trouble financially, start planning early, such as Scholarships, sponsored courses and prepare for those criteria. Helps to have been prepared with answer when the colleges ask for it.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Michelle
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Atul’s Answer

1) Maintain high Cum GPA.
2) Take as many AP courses you can take and score well. You will get college credits and can finish in 3 years.
3) Take challenging courses in the high school.
4) Score well in SAT or ACT.
5) Know what you want to study - you can decide based on the courses you enjoy. For instance: I enjoyed Math and pursued Software industry which was the wisest decision I made.
6) Talk to your favorite school teacher.
7) Ask elderly relatives/neighbors what they like/dislike about their profession. If they were to start over again will they choose the career path. Many people enjoy what they do even when they do not make lot of money while some people make lots of money but they hate their job.
8) Finally, Follow your passion and if you enjoy what you do everyday, you will never regret it.
Thank you comment icon Atul, thank you! Michelle
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William’s Answer

Hey Michelle!
I recommend these books for you to help you in career guide. You can get an electronic copy (PDF or epub).
1) The Careers Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Future by Dorling Kindersley
2) Aptitude, Personality and Motivation Tests: Analyse Your Talents and Personality and Plan Your Career (Testing Series) by Jim Barrett
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Michelle
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Roel’s Answer

First and foremost, consider having a heart-to-heart with your loved ones. They can provide valuable insights and guidance as you map out your future plans. Next, pour your energy and time into something you truly love. When you engage in activities that ignite your passion, you'll naturally pick up new skills and may even connect with like-minded individuals.

Building a network of people who share your interests and expanding your skill set are powerful tools for future preparation. So, keep learning, keep meeting new people, and keep pursuing your passion. Your future is bright and full of potential!
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Christine’s Answer

Hi Michelle! This is such a great question. Some suggestions for before and after college:

-Give yourself time to explore your interests, skills, and values. You probably have some in mind already! If there are things you're curious about, try them out and see: Did I hate it? Would I want to do this again? Did it really light me up?

If you can't get hands-on experience like this, find other peoples' experiences (talking to others, listening to podcasts, looking at the LinkedIn journeys of people in that career) or take classes on the topic (the general education courses or electives you need to take in college can be an easy way to do this).

-No matter where you land in the future, you'll always need money :). Build some of your financial skills by finding a free online class on budgeting and saving for the future.

-In high school, I had a lot of interests that didn't seem like they'd ever fit together, but they've all helped in my career or in fun side projects. And as one of my managers said: "The field I'm working in was so new that there wasn't even a degree for it in college." You never know what opportunities will come up, so stay open to what's out there, and open to learning more about yourself. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Christine! Michelle
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Judith’s Answer

Your career is an ever evolving part of your life. First of all, I recommend identifying areas of personal interest. Then, I suggest, finding a part time job in the field to try it on for size. When you are young, you lack experience and the ideas are not grounded. By getting your feet wet in the field, you can affirm or deny that is what you want to do. Of course, you may only be a receptionist answering phones in a scientific field, but you can speak with the scientists and hear what they say about their jobs.

Having two or three ideas is a great idea at any time. The world is changing and we have to change with it. Understanding that life is evolving and having a good list of ideas can help you to pivot. It is like chess, you have to think three steps ahead to move into the areas which are compatible with you values, your goals and your lifestyle.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Michelle
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