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Where to start if I do not even know what career will suit me best?

What are some ways I can experiment with different career paths as someone starting high school next year?

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Subject: Career question for you

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david’s Answer

Hello, Mia,
I appreciate your enthusiasm, and I suggest you focus on the highest level courses available to you. At this point in your education, building a solid base is number one priority, career planning is a very distant number two. It may well be six years or more before you need to seriously consider a career path, so focus now on building the base. For example, even if math is not a strength of yours, continue with math courses. Trying to lay out a career path as a freshman can easily send you in a direction that you may regret a few years from now. Just keep to the 'college prep' structure. At the end of sophomore year, I encourage you to start visiting colleges if only for the experience. That, in itself, will open windows. All the best to you.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Mia
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Ashley’s Answer

Find people, family friends ect that have different careers. Ask to shadow them for a day if able. If you can't, ask them what it is really like. Then cross reference your experience shadowing and what you've heard with your skill sets and likes/dislikes. For example, you have a family friend who is a computer programmer and they say their days are long, and there is a lot of individual work that is quiet and detail oriented. And you personally enjoy moving, being around others, but thrive with out of box thinking. You can scratch computer programming from your list. Also think about what kind of life style you want. You can find salary ranges on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics https://www.bls.gov/
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Mia
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Michael’s Answer

Mia
This is a question many people have when entering this stage of adulthood. Many of the responses above include great tips that very well could work for you. This is a great platform to figure out what other professionals have done in order to get to where they are. For me personally, I am not where I thought I was going to be 15 years ago however I am lucky to have this incredible journey of ups and downs. My path has not been linier and i am greatful for that. Jumping into the working world teaches you so many beneficial skills that only become useful when you decide to use them or do something with them. The best advise I want to leave you with is dont allow yourself to pick one thing without being open to something different. Allow the people, places, learning opportunities, ups and downs, guide you to where you should be every step of the way. Dont be afraid to make a decision that moves you further from your original plan as long as it is what you want to do at that time. A little background on myself.
Studdied Secondary Special Education
Private School - Elementary Ed. Teacher
Home Depot Call Center Sales team member
Home Depot Call Center Team Leader
Home Depot Corporate Learning & Development
Home Depot HR Specialist - Remote
Home Depot Store Management - 2 different locations
Currently back in learning and development (RM)
I have found great opportunities with fantastic organizations. I wouldnt change a thing.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Mia
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Terrell’s Answer

Where to start if I do not even know what career will suit me best?

This can be a very hard thing to think about if you aren't sure what works for you. I would say to possibly do some of the following.

1. Take a career test
2.Explore your interests
3. Identify what you are good at/strengths
4. Network with friends/ family and see if anything sparks your attention.
Thank you comment icon Definitely agree with this! I did the same when I was trying to figure out my career goals back in high school Jamini Patel
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Many students have the same question.
Firstly, you may have to what you have interest.
Below are my suggestions:
1. Think about your interest, your favorite subjects, etc. to identify your careers
E.g. If you are interested in Maths, would you like to be an accountant, a maths teacher, a banker, engineering, etc.
If you are interested in Music, would you like to be a singer, musician, composer, music producer, music teacher, etc.
2. Find out more on these careers and identify what you have interest
3. Speak to someone working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue
5. Explore the entry criteria of relevant subjects in the college
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Richard J (Rich)’s Answer

All the above answers are great ideas. I always say to start with what is in your heart and your gut about what you want to wake up every morning and do. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grow up - but in my gut I knew I wanted to be a Police Officer or join the military. So, from that gut I went into the military and from there I had the chance, with a meaningful paying job, to discover what else is out there in the world that I may be interested in. I ended up staying in the US Air Force for a long time - because the Service provided me the opportunity to do many things within the same profession.

Though you may not be sure yet, think of those things that motivate you - the things your really think you can contribute to - as search out ways to learn more about those professions. Those ways are either on-line searches, finding out of there are internships or entry level positions at those careers or industries, and/or making the decision to go down a path in university/college, trade school, or on the job and see where it leads you.

The best is to try your best to start with what really interests you internally and then you can learn more about where you want to go externally based on education and experiences. I hope this helps
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Adriene’s Answer

Go the your school counselor or career center to research areas
List what are areas you are interested in. No right or wrong
Network with others Friends, Family who may be in those fields to get an idea of what the industry/jobs may look like
Look online for free career tests to give you an idea of options
If you can access LInkedIn and search for various professional groups that you can reach out to to ask questions

Adriene recommends the following next steps:

List what are areas you are interested in. No right or wrong
Network with others Friends, Family who may be in those fields to get an idea of what the industry/jobs may look like
Go the your school counselor or career center to research areas
Look online for free career tests to give you an idea of options
If you can access LInkedIn and search for various professional groups that you can reach out to to ask questions
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Alfie Sergio’s Answer

Try defining 2 things:

1. What you are good at (and whether you like it).
2. What you really don't like.

With that you'll have a list of interesting options.
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Chirayu’s Answer

If you're starting high school and are not sure what career will suit you best, don't worry! There are many ways you can explore different career paths and gain insight into what you may be interested in. Here are a few suggestions - There are many free online career assessment tests that can help you identify your interests, skills, and personality traits. These tests can provide you with a list of potential careers that may suit you best. Career counselors can provide you with valuable advice and guidance on different career paths. They can help you identify your interests, skills, and values and provide you with information on different career options. Participating in internships or job shadowing programs can give you hands-on experience in different careers. This can help you gain insight into what different careers are like and whether they may be a good fit for you. Career fairs can provide you with an opportunity to speak with professionals in different industries and learn more about different career paths. Volunteering or joining clubs related to different fields can provide you with an opportunity to gain experience and learn more about different careers. Reading about different careers and doing research online can provide you with a better understanding of different fields and what they entail.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for giving me advice. Mia
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Jon.’s Answer

Mia,
One simple way is to find some volunteering opportunities in the community. Sometimes there will be some there simple to sign up for and you can test your skills at places that are looking for a little help, Often tis can also count as credit in school. Really take the time to see the interactions around you as you participate and volunteer at those opportunities. Often this can open your eyes to think you really like and match your skill sets at the same time.

Best of lucky on your pursuit of happiness.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Mia
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James Constantine’s Answer

Subject: Unleashing Your Potential: A High School Student's Guide to Career Exploration

Dear Mia,

Unveiling Your Future: A High Schooler's Journey into Career Discovery

As a high school student, the vast world of career possibilities can seem overwhelming. However, there are numerous ways for you to dip your toes into various career waters, helping you uncover the path that resonates with your interests and talents:

Career Discovery Programs: A wealth of high schools offer programs designed to give students a glimpse into the professional world. By shadowing professionals, participating in internships, or attending career fairs, you can gain practical experience and insights into a variety of industries, helping you assess your enthusiasm and proficiency in specific fields.

Beyond the Classroom: Extracurricular activities such as clubs, sports, or volunteer work can serve as a window into diverse skills and interests. For instance, becoming a member of a robotics club could kindle an interest in engineering, while volunteering at a hospital might fuel a passion for healthcare.

Digital Learning: Online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or Khan Academy offer a broad spectrum of courses across numerous subjects. These courses offer a sample of different fields without the need for a long-term commitment, enabling you to delve into your interests at a comfortable pace.

Conversational Learning: Don't hesitate to reach out to professionals in fields that pique your curiosity and request informational interviews. This grants you a chance to learn more about the daily tasks, necessary skills, and overall industry dynamics.

Job Shadowing: Observing a professional at work for a day or a week can offer invaluable insights into a specific career path. This firsthand experience allows you to understand the job in depth and ask questions to gain a clearer picture of the role.

Career Aptitude Tests: Consider taking career aptitude tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the Holland Code Career Test. These tests can help pinpoint your strengths, interests, and personality traits, steering you towards fitting career paths.

Part-Time Work or Internships: Taking on part-time jobs or internships during high school can introduce you to diverse work environments and industries. Even if the job doesn't align with your ultimate career goal, the experience can be instrumental in shaping your future choices.

Networking Opportunities: Make the most of networking events or career workshops in your community to connect with professionals from various fields. Establishing a network early can lead to mentorship opportunities and valuable insights into a range of careers.

By immersing yourself in these activities and venturing into a variety of opportunities, you can gather invaluable insights into different career paths and progressively refine your choices based on your interests, skills, and inclinations.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

The Balance Careers: A trusted online platform offering articles, guides, and tools related to career growth and exploration. It provides practical advice on selecting a career path, investigating different options, and effectively navigating the job market.

CareerOneStop: Backed by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop provides comprehensive information on career exploration, training programs, job search strategies, and labor market data. It is a dependable resource for high school students keen to investigate various career paths.

Youth.gov: A federal website dedicated to youth-related topics, including education, employment, and youth programs. It offers resources for young individuals seeking guidance on career planning, skill development, and transitioning into the workforce.

May God Bless You,
James Constantine Frangos.
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