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What would you recommend looking for a future career in?

I am a junior in high school that is starting to think about his future. I was looking for some advice and some people suggestions that have knowledge from there own lives.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Tiffanie’s Answer

Hi Sawyer,

Great question! I'm almost 40 years old and I still don't know what I want to do as a career, and I think that's ok because it keeps me learning. I went to undergrad and received a bachelors and prelaw and got a job as an administrative assistant. That position lead me to marketing and communications, then it led me to nonprofit work and now recruiting. I think you should focus on what makes you happy and what you love learning about and your path will take you where it should.
If you like tinkering and computers then being an engineer might be the right path to try, but don't let it discourage you if it's not what you want, be flexible and willing to change your path if it's not going where you want it to take you. As a junior in high school you do not need to have it all planned out. Perhaps your first year of college you only take electives and general classes until you decide what you want to major in. Take a couple of classes in different things and find out what you really like. Take internships that are all different so you know what on the job work will be like, doing a job for 8 hours a day, its important to at least like what you do.
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Keyston’s Answer

Navigating career options can be quite a journey, especially as a junior in high school. My own experience taught me that considering your interests and strengths is crucial. It's valuable to seek advice from those who have been down a similar road. Careers can unfold in unexpected ways, like my role as a facility maintenance supervisor, even without a college degree. So, explore your passions, gather insights, and embrace the uniqueness of your own path to the future.
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Sarah’s Answer

Great! The world is your oyster. I think you have to balance interests, abilities and goals. Find some people that do what you think you want to do. Maybe volunteer or intern at a place that’s similar. Do you have a guidance counselor at your high school? For Instance: My interest was art, but I wasn’t the best or the worst. I was better at a lot of other subjects. My goal was to have a steady income to support myself and my child. I learned from other professionals that marketing and sales were where the money was at in art or residential design. That terrified me (rightly or wrongly) into commercial design, but the ratio of money spent on tuition vs. Income. It turns out my other strengths (writing and communications) played into getting better opportunities. Maybe art should have been a hobby and I should have been a dentist or accountant. Maybe I would have made it as an artist, or maybe I would have been great at my own company, but I think people can find their way if they are pointed in the right direction.

Sarah recommends the following next steps:

Take an aptitude test at school
Look at the Department of Labor’s website of all the careers, salaries, educational requirements
Think about your goals, which may change over time. (High Salary, Fame, Stability, Helping Others, Expressing Yourself)
Volunteer, Shadow a professional, and get a mentor in the areas you are interested in.
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Diane’s Answer

Hi Sawyer, I will start off by asking you what interests you and what are you passionate about? When my son was trying to determine what to major to obtain in college for a career I asked him to really think about what interested him and what was he passionate about. He loves history (American and World History). He is sponge when it comes to seeking out and learning about history and can talk about it for hours. He decided to get his college degree in teaching focusing on History, Government and Economics. Once you determine your potential career interests look to obtain jobs in that field and/or shadowing someone already working in that field so you can truly obtain the experience and see the day to day of it. There are endless opportunities out there for you. Best of luck!
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Edward’s Answer

As a millennial who was brought up by an older generation, I'll address this question in two parts.

What kind of job can you imagine yourself getting up for on a tough day, knowing it's going to be challenging, yet you're still eager to give it your all? It's unlikely that it's McDonald's, which is why this question is often asked.

Firstly, you must answer this question for yourself. Only you know what fits you best. Perhaps you adore Anime, and you're so immersed in its various series that you know all the lore. In that case, why not consider drawing or getting into 2D animation? Or maybe you love building your own computers, enjoying the process of tinkering and troubleshooting. In that case, think about becoming a computer technician. The point is, the generic advice of "you can be anything you want" was never about success. It was about understanding yourself and finding a career path that aligns with your interests.

Now, let's get real for a moment.

If your primary goal is to earn a good income, consider seeking out well-paid, blue-collar jobs that others might shy away from. These could include trades like plumbing, electrical work, construction, or road work. These are tough jobs, but they pay well and are in high demand because fewer people are willing to do them.

If you're not concerned about job satisfaction and are more focused on having money to enjoy life, blue-collar jobs could be the way to go. I wish I had the mental fortitude to endure a hard labor job for 10-12 hours a day just for the paycheck. The reality is, the highest paying jobs often provide the least free time. Conversely, the most appealing jobs often pay less and don't guarantee happiness.

A professor once shared a valuable insight with me: where you aspire to be isn't necessarily where you'll be happiest. So, take a moment to breathe and understand that you have plenty of time. However, if you waste it, it will come back to haunt you.

At 31, I'm a first-time college student, turning my self-taught game development skills into professional expertise. After my first year, I have a GPA above 3.0, and I fully dedicate my free time to my trade. I'm well aware of the competitiveness in my field and the possibility that I may not achieve my dream. However, an often-overlooked aspect of college is that it helps you become a more disciplined and improved individual.

Find something you're passionate about, aim for it, and remember that completing your degree and making the most of your opportunity is incredibly valuable. Also, remember that you can always return to college for another degree. Some people enjoy it so much that they make academia their career.

Before I forget, there is another tidbit of advice that isn't a direct response to your question. You must suck at something to be good at something later on. If you currently compare yourself against your piers, you will self destruct. I almost quit college my very first semester because I SUCK at drawing despite being good at it in high school. I never developed the discipline skills nor the practice needed to actually compete in the class. The irony is I was competing against myself, not them. When it came to 3D modeling, my discipline focus, I was consistently best of the class, even with amateur mistakes. I constantly spent time helping my fellow classmates, just like they did for me in graphic design class. I imagine I made a few students themselves who didn't reach this same realization want to quit. You have your talent, people have theirs. Find yours and suck at it until you reach perfection. Comparing answers and comparing progress are two different things. You should compare your skills against people with more experience to determine areas you can improve, not read into it as you are so much worse in this aspect and that aspect, etc.

I didn't mean for this to become life advice, but if you are asking a question like this, I feel this advice should all be compounded in the same answer. Work hard, stay focused, be successful. The world will tell you all sorts of things to stop you, and it will actively fight with you when you aim to professionalize. persevere and keep your eye on the prize. Trust me, 4-6 years is NOTHING.
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