How to Find Your Career Path
A satisfying career can be important to your happiness, since it determines
the people you work with every day, the amount of leisure time you may
have, and your standard of living. According to recent research, if you
enjoy your career, it is likely that you'll live longer, too.
Good career planning begins with self-knowledge. This means knowledge
about your own characteristics – your interests, values, abilities, skills,
Your interests and values may include:
Your abilities and skills may include:
- working with ideas
- helping others with their development
- preparing gourmet food
Your personality may lead you to choose a career with duties that:
- drafting and designing
- writing clearly
Answering some of the following questions may help you learn more about
yourself. What do you like to do? What abilities and skills do you have?
What is really important to you? How do your personality characteristics
affect your career options?
- change frequently
- involve travel
- allow you to work without close supervision
These are just some of the questions you must explore and begin to answer
as a first step in the career-planning process.
Know the World of Work
Next, it is time to gather information about occupations and the world
of work. Which occupations will be in demand in future years? How are occupations
changing? What do workers in various occupations do? Which occupations
match your interests, values, abilities, and personality?
What is the world of work really like? How is it changing? How will
those changes affect you?
Did you know that:
Get Help with Gathering Career Information
- people who enter the workforce are likely to change occupations from 8
to 10 times throughout their working lives?
- most jobs of the future will require some type of education or training
beyond the high school level?
- your career options will increase if you are good in math and science?
You can begin to answer many career-related questions by:
Put Yourself on a Path
- reading information in Career Paths and other publications available
in high school guidance offices, Connecticut Works Centers, Department
of Labor Job Centers, public libraries, and college placement offices
- talking to a counselor at your school, Department of Labor Job Center,
or Connecticut Works Center
- talking to relatives, teachers, and others who know you
- talking to people in occupations that interest you
- attending career fairs available in your school or community
- exploring job shadowing, mentoring, internships, and cooperative education
programs in your school or community
After you've learned more about yourself and some occupations that interest
you, it's time to set some goals. Then put yourself on a path to achieve
Learn the skills you need to get where you want to go. Find out if an
occupation that interests you requires further education or if you can
qualify for it using skills that you already have. You may need to learn
some skills, such as résumé writing, interviewing, or how
to apply for scholarships, school admission, or job training programs.
Remember, the future is not predetermined and cannot be predicted with
certainty, but it can be influenced by individual thought and action.
So, visualize the possibilities, imagine what the future could be like,
and set out to discover it!
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