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How can I start looking in a career I’m interested in or makes money ?

As a fifteenth year old and a rising junior with no job experience how can I start with selecting a career and choosing to go or to not go to college.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Myles’s Answer

Thank you for the question - I remember being about the same age and asking a very similar question. My recommendation would be to start by taking your core passions and couple them with open mindedness of the industries, fields, and functional roles you're considering. Next would be to ensure if you are not already, to begin conducting as much research as you can - including reaching out to professionals in certain industries, fields, and functional roles that sound interesting to you, as well as seek an ongoing mentorship/coaching opportunities. As you begin identifying a handful of industries, fields, and functional roles that seem most intriguing and interesting to you, document those, and further fine-tune your research in those to then lead you to at least a handful to dozen choices to continue researching. Depending on the handful to dozen options you've narrowed down, then consider the educational requirements to entry such us will a specific role require at least two years of college? Four? Eight? Perhaps it's a role which you could pursue with targeted vocational schooling or similar. I agree with what many have already suggested which is to fundamentally couple what really drives your passions and motivations with a role which will most likely yield the kind of financial/monetary yield you are seeking in your adulthood, and you should find what you're looking for.
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Casie’s Answer

This is a great question!

I know a lot of people talk about passions and following those, and I agree with what everyone is saying there.

But I will say, I did not really have "passions" when it came to my future career. I knew I wanted to make money, and I knew I wanted a work life balance. I was fine if I had to travel for work but my weekends were to be for myself. I did not want to be getting called on off hours or weekends (as much as I could control that, sometimes things do happen and it is needed).

For me, I went to career fairs to start to get ideas on what is out there - because honestly it's really overwhelming just how many jobs are out there. Then when I went to college, I majored in Business, simply because everyone in my family did and I just assumed that was the route to take when I still did not know what I wanted to do. I took some courses and ended up majoring in Advertising with a minor in Photography. I will say, I got my first job out of college and my now career quite literally fell into my lap. I took a sales role for a Advertising company and the owner of the company realized quickly that I was much better at project management and he was better at the sales - so we basically flipped our roles and "project management" fell into my lap and I have not changed since. I realized that I am a very Type A person and basically have project managed my life up until that point. So what was "work" felt like common knowledge: to communicate and execute plans, to keep everyone on track, etc.

I did shop around for the industry I wanted to be a PM for. For example I was in that advertising company for a few years, then went to automotive advertising for a few years (assuming I needed to stay in the advertising company since that was my major), and now I am in telecommunications as a Project manager.

So my biggest advice here is to just know it's okay to shop around, to take your time, and to know you may have to go through some trials and errors to find your footing
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Many students have similar question. Firstly, you need to find out the careers you have interest. Some careers need undergraduate degree to achieve professional qualification, e.g. doctor, nurse, accountant, engineer, lawyer, etc.. And, you can also acquire the knowledge and skills in vocation schools, e.g. culinary, hair dressing, make up, etc.
On the other hand, you better find a career you have interest. Imagine you have to work 8-10 hours 5 day / week (normally), it is really a disaster if you have no interest on the job.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about what you have interest, e.g. your hobbies, favourite subjects, etc. and identify the related careers
E.g. If you like music, would you like to be a singer, musical artist, musician, music composer, music producer, etc.
If you have interest in maths, would you like to be an accountant, engineer, financial analyst, banker, maths teacher, etc.
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 career you would like to pursue
5. Find out how you can acquire the knowledge and skills of the careers, i.e. whether you would need to have college degree or vocation school, etc. and the entry criteria
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Kristan’s Answer

Sounds like embarking on collecting a series of experiences is the best way to start. Look for opportunities around you. Who is looking to hire someone or which businesses have entry level positions? Opportunity is always present; it takes someone who is open to seize the opportunity. This is going to sound very idealistic and potentially unrealistic-leading with money is not the way to create wealth. Highly successful individuals began with following their areas of interests, their talents, and/or the opportunities presented. It is just as or even more important to learn what you do not like as what you do like. Start by doing. All experience is meaningful for you at this moment.
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Amalya’s Answer

Hi Odilia,

It's great that you are considering your future options so reflectively. It depends on many factors. First of all, you should decide the advantages and disadvantages of attending/not attending a college based on your situation. IN my opinion, both job and study are important. You can study at college, at the same time find any relevant job in combination with your education.
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Patricio’s Answer

Hello there! I would suggest having a chat with your parents. They might be able to provide some valuable guidance. However, since your goal is to stand on your own two feet, why not start exploring online for potential places to apply? For instance, if you're a fan of smartphones, you might enjoy working at an Apple Store and interacting with a variety of people. The tech industry is brimming with opportunities for you to dive into. Don't forget to seek advice from your teachers too, as they have a good understanding of your potential and aspirations since you're at an age where you're beginning to make your own life choices. College is a treasure trove of knowledge and I highly recommend it as it can open up a world of possibilities for you.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Odilia !

It sounds like the first thing you may want to focus on is getting a part time job so that you can earn a bit of money and gain job experience at the same time. I have left a couple of links for you below to get you on your way.

As for thinking about a career, I wouldn't worry about that just yet. Many people don't decide on a career direction for a while. Once you start working, start reading more about and engaging in your interests, you'll come up with something that you really enjoy. Think about what your favorite subjects in school are and look into which careers align with those subjects. There is no deadline for this and it should come naturally to you through inspiration.

The best thing is to about deciding to go to college or not is to establish a plan now and don't be hesitant to change your mind. My advice is to plan for college as it will provide much personal growth as well as prepare you for a career that you are interested in. Even if you do not have a major right away, that's fine, but having that college degree will help you be competitive in the job market when you go to apply for more professional jobs. So I would advise thinking about going to college. Something that can inspire you one way or another is to visit colleges and get a feel for what it's like to be on campus. Visit both community colleges and four year Universities. You can also talk to the staff and students while there and that will give you a more real experience.

If you've decided not to go to college, you can look into different trainings or vocational schools. Become familiar with the various programs they offer. You can also look into on line studies. It will depend on what field you decide to go into. You have options.

To get you started, I have left some links below for you for employment and vocational schools in your area. There are a lot more out there, so you will need to actively do searches on line. For jobs, do not hesitate to go in person to some places nearby and ask if they are accepting applications. Obtaining employment requires taking active steps. This would be a great time to begin now.

I hope that this has been a help and I wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM https://www.careersourcecentralflorida.com/career-seekers/young-adults/summer-youth-program/
INDEED JOBS FOR TEENS https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=teen+part+time&l=Plant+City%2C+FL&vjk=9487555862a165d2
ON LINE PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS https://www.edx.org/certificates/professional-certificate
LIST OF VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS FOR PLANT CITY, FL https://www.yellowpages.com/plant-city-fl/vocational-training-schools
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Jerome’s Answer

I think there are a few things you can do!

Attend Job Fairs for High School Students. The great thing with these as that they expect you to have little experience and that's ok.

Take as many elective classes as possible, you may just find something you enjoy!

As adults in your life about their jobs. What do they love, what do they not like.

Volunteer in your community. By giving a couple hours per month, you can gain experience and build connections.

Join clubs at school. My 16 year old is part of the Theater Club and he gets to build sets and direct plays which he has found enjoyment in.
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Jason’s Answer

Dive into books that focus on career development and explore if your school district offers apprenticeships. If they don't, don't worry! There are plenty of other opportunities to gain experience. For instance, if you're interested in the medical field, many hospitals welcome volunteers. Your local library is another excellent place to start volunteering, especially considering your age. At 15, some places might not be able to hire you yet, but that doesn't mean you can't gain valuable experience. In fact, at 15, you're old enough to be an assistant swimming instructor. This role not only provides you with practical experience but also gives you the chance to earn certifications in first aid and CPR. So, don't hesitate, your journey to success starts now!
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Finn’s Answer

Hello Odilia,

When picking a career I would focus on what you are passionate about.

If you do not know what your passion is yet, a good place to start is to think about what you do during your down time. For Example:
What do you do when you are procrastinating on a homework assignment?
What do you do when you are day-dreaming in class?

What you think about, and what you do when your avoiding work, or avoiding paying attention, can lead you to what you actually want to be doing in life, and what you are truly interested in.

For making money, pick something you are really good at, and focus on making those strengths even stronger. Also, always ask yourself questions like , "how can I add more value." In your life, you will find that the more value you bring, the more money you will make.

The best thing you could do right now is to try a lot of different things, give them your best effort, and then figure out what you liked / didn't like.

Good Luck!
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Mrinalini’s Answer

Hello Odilia,

Can you share with me what grade you're currently in? I know it might seem a bit early to be discussing this, but it's important. Yes, money undoubtedly plays a significant role in our lives, but should it be your sole focus? I recommend that you concentrate on your studies and complete your college degree first. Discover your passions and then pursue a career that aligns with them.

If you're currently facing a financial crunch, there's a solution. You could consider offering tutoring services, either online or offline. This would not only provide you with an income but also a chance to share your knowledge. It's a valuable use of your time and a great way to earn money.

I hope this advice proves useful to you. Thank you!
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