How did they do it? How did Barack Obama figure out he wanted to be the president of the United States one day? What helped Elon Musk decided to become an entrepreneur? Is there a course to take, or a book to read, about how to decide on a career?
Don’t be concerned if you’re reaching the end of your high school years and you still haven’t decided on a career path. Many people make it through college and even further without making a choice. Here are a few tips on the process.
What Do You Like To Do?
Here’s a question for you. If you could have any job, what would it be?
Skip the thoughts on barriers. Now’s not the time to think about the things that might prevent you from following in the footsteps of someone like Steve Jobs or a politician you admire. They had plenty of obstacles to overcome. This is the time to explore what you enjoy doing, and looking at opportunities that move you in that direction.
Get the most out of what’s available while you’re still in high school. Good grades are important, but they aren’t everything. Are there elective classes you can take that can help you explore something which interests you?
People who choose a career as an electrician tend to excel at math and science. Can you take an applicable course offered by your high school? Explore options outside of school, as well. Many companies offer apprenticeships that let you earn while you learn a valuable skill you can convert to a career down the road.
There are people all around you who are already doing what you might be thinking of doing. Ask them how they approached their career. People love to talk about what they do for a living. This is a great way to pick their brains.
You may discover they took an interesting route to getting where they are. Often, these people will tell you they got inspiration—and encouragement—from someone who was already doing well in their chosen career.
This is also an excellent way to find a mentor. They’ll follow your interest, and they might even help you to get a taste of what it’s like to do what they do.
There are also plenty of websites that offer a deep dive into what’s involved in a career path. You can, for example find out what it’s like to choose a career as a plumber, electrician, or an HVAC technician by exploring the information on the Explore the Trades website.
Professionals in the trades have generously offered their insight into what they enjoy most about their job, and even the ways it has benefitted their lifestyle. It’s a free and valuable way to explore a career that may not even require a college degree.