Why Career Exploration?

Do You Want to save TIME, MONEY & ANXIETY?  Then keep on reading. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?  …. Relatively harmless question, but for some it causes a lot of stress.  Which ultimately leads to putting off the question or not really thinking about it. 

Before anyone has a panic attack and needs to go practice stress-relieving techniques, let’s look at a few words in the question. 

WHAT do YOU WANT to be WHEN you grow up?   English teachers forgive me.  My new question is:   What you want when? 

WHAT – What a loaded question.  Do you want a job that you can show up daily, leave without worry that gives you a paycheck to get basic necessities?  Are you thinking long-term for a career that has a path for growth and development? 

YOU – Unique, only you can answer.  You might look to others for advice or guidance but no two paths are identical and the career/job you choose and how you obtain that role is unique to you.   Look at this circle chart.  Note that you are at the center.  All of the surrounding factors have an impact on your choice.  Personality, Skills, Values and Interests.

WANT – Want verses need.  That is the difference between Job and Career.  I need, shelter, water, food, transportation.  I want a lifestyle, relationships, a home, travel and life experiences.  What you want to have will drive your decision-making process. (I tell my students to look up careers and jobs on Salary.com to see how much they might make in a specific job/career.  The answer you find will drive some decisions.)

WHEN – Timing is everything.  Most adults struggle with answering these questions.  Let me really blow your mind…I want middle and high school students to start thinking about career choices.

Let’s be clear, I know very well that 11 – 13-year old students have no idea what job or career that they are going to have for the rest of their life.  In fact a high % of people will change jobs several times before they are in their thirties.  This is the time for our students to start learning about themselves.  My question to a student breaks this down a little better. 

  1. What do you like to do? (Interests)
  2. What are you good at? (Skills)
  3. What is important to you? (Values)
  4. How do you work?  (Personality)

The internet is full of free career assessment tools.  A few I like are https://scholarmatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Career-Interest-Survey.pdf https://www.ucango2.org/publications/student/Career_Interest_Survey.pdf

J  So I started this blog with a simple question, “Why career exploration?”  Because it can save you time, money and years of frustration and anxiety.  Read Next week’s blog to find out how you can help your student Explore Careers.    

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