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How to start with finding my dream career?

(I'm in high school and I'm not sure what job I want to do after college.)

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Subject: Career question for you

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Jessica’s Answer

Choosing a career path may not be a straightforward task, but don't let that discourage you. It's okay to experiment a bit at first, and remember, it's perfectly fine to move on from your initial job if it doesn't suit you. Spend some time reflecting on your skills and passions, and consider how you might transform them into a fulfilling career.

Don't forget to explore businesses that captivate you and envision how your interests could contribute to their success. Delve into the world of various companies, learn about their mission and culture, and explore the job roles they offer.

Internships and summer programs can be great stepping stones, allowing you to explore different fields of interest. This can help you discover what truly resonates with you. Remember, every step you take is bringing you closer to a career that you love and excel in.
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Cliff’s Answer

Atkia,

James has done a great job of giving advice. I'll likely restate some things that I think are important.

Think about what you like to do. There are free career aptitude tests online - this is one I found, but didn't take: https://brainmanager.io/tests/career?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=career_test&msclkid=31b5818e1e14148aa402e7c94e90cce0&utm_term=career%20aptitude%20test%20free%20online&utm_content=career%20test%20exact%20low%20searchvolume

Once you have it narrowed down, find a way to shadow people who do what you're interested in. How to do this? Use your network (i.e. people you know - parents, aunts, uncles, friends, teachers, etc.), search the internet for places in your area, ask people you know for ideas and help. You will likely have to go outside your comfort zone to do this, and you might not have success the first time but keep at it!

After shadowing, decide if this is truly something you want to do. My son did an internship in computer science and absolutely HATED it. I said "Great, now you know you want to do other things." He changed his major and went on to become a doctor... which he loves. You are young and now is the time to try multiple things to decide your true passion. I got a BS degree in Electrical Engineering, but quickly found I was NOT the best circuit designer... I pivoted to doing all things related to firmware (i.e. writing, building, testing, managing, etc.) and have done that for over 40 years.

After deciding what your true passion is, it would be good to talk with teachers and guidance counselors on what education you need to set yourself up for success. You won't be able to just jump into doing your dream job - there will be a lot of obstacles/work before you get there. I worked on the railroad, pour cement for roads, worked at a lumberyard, and was a janitor for summers to make money for school. Keep your eye on your future and you'll get there.

It's a lot of work and self-control, but in the end it's worth it.

Good luck! You can do it!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Aktia,

How to Start with Finding Your Dream Career

Finding your dream career can be an exciting yet challenging journey, especially when you are in high school and unsure about your future path. Here are some steps to help you navigate this process:

1. Self-Reflection: Begin by reflecting on your interests, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Consider what activities make you feel fulfilled and energized. Think about subjects in school that you enjoy or excel at. Understanding yourself better can provide valuable insights into potential career paths that align with your personality and aspirations.

2. Explore Different Fields: Take the time to explore various industries and professions. Attend career fairs, informational interviews, job shadowing opportunities, or internships to gain exposure to different fields. Research online resources, such as career websites and occupational outlook handbooks, to learn more about different job roles and industries.

3. Seek Guidance: Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from career counselors, teachers, mentors, or professionals in fields of interest. They can offer valuable advice, insights, and resources to help you make informed decisions about your future career path.

4. Set Goals: Establish short-term and long-term goals for your career exploration journey. Create a plan outlining the steps you need to take to achieve these goals. Setting specific objectives can help you stay focused and motivated throughout the process.

5. Gain Experience: Consider participating in extracurricular activities, volunteer work, part-time jobs, or internships related to your areas of interest. Practical experience can provide valuable skills, insights, and networking opportunities that can shape your career path.

6. Further Education: Research different educational paths that align with your career goals. Whether it’s attending college, vocational training programs, or pursuing certifications, further education can equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary for your dream career.

7. Stay Flexible: Keep in mind that career paths are not always linear, and it’s okay to explore different options along the way. Stay open-minded and adaptable as you navigate through various opportunities and experiences that come your way.

By following these steps and staying proactive in your career exploration journey, you can gradually narrow down your options and work towards finding a fulfilling and rewarding dream career that aligns with your passions and aspirations.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used in Answering this Question:

The Balance Careers: The Balance Careers is a reputable online resource providing expert advice on various aspects of careers, including tips on choosing a career path, exploring different industries, setting goals, gaining experience, and seeking guidance from professionals.

CareerOneStop: CareerOneStop is a comprehensive website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor offering a wide range of tools and resources for exploring careers, planning education paths, finding training programs, and conducting job searches.

Indeed Career Guide: Indeed Career Guide is a reliable source offering insights into different careers through articles on self-reflection exercises, industry overviews, job search strategies, educational requirements for various professions, and tips for professional development.

These sources were utilized to provide accurate information and guidance on how to start finding one’s dream career effectively during high school years.

God Bless You,
JC.
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Violaine’s Answer

Hi Aktia Finding your dream career involves self-discovery, exploration, and planning. Here are steps to help you start:

Self-Assessment
Reflect on your interests, strengths, and values. Ask yourself:
- What subjects and activities do you enjoy?
- What are your natural talents and skills?
- What values are important to you (e.g., helping others, creativity, financial stability)?

Research Careers
Explore various careers to see what aligns with your interests and skills:
- Use online resources like career quizzes (e.g., MyNextMove.org, 16Personalities.com).
- Research job descriptions, required skills, and educational pathways.
- Look into different industries and roles to understand the options available.

Seek Guidance
Talk to people who can offer insights and advice:
- Discuss with school counselors about career options and educational paths.
- Interview professionals in fields you’re interested in to learn about their experiences.
- Attend career fairs, workshops, and open houses at colleges and universities.

Gain Experience
Hands-on experience can help you make informed decisions:
- Participate in internships, volunteer work, or part-time jobs.
- Join clubs, organizations, or extracurricular activities related to potential careers.
- Take on projects or hobbies that align with your interests.

Plan Your Path
Create a plan to achieve your career goals:
- Identify the education and training required for your chosen fields.
- Research colleges and programs that offer relevant courses and degrees.
- Set short-term and long-term goals to guide your journey.

Stay Open and Adaptable
Your interests and goals might evolve over time, so stay open to new opportunities and be willing to adapt. Regularly reassess your goals and progress, and be prepared to adjust your plans as you learn more about yourself and the job market.
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Georgette’s Answer

Good Morning Aktia,

Embark on a career journey that resonates with your core values. After identifying what truly matters to you, ponder on how these values can be integrated into your professional life. Additionally, consider crafting a list of activities and hobbies that you find enjoyable. Being engaged in a job that involves tasks and daily routines you are passionate about can fuel your motivation and elevate your joy.

Best of Luck!
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