Career Exploration Can Be A Lot Like A Road Trip For High School Students
By Laura Massey, Stride Success Coach
"What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question that stands the test of time. Teachers, parents, family, and other adults may have asked you this time and time again. So, what are they really asking? Honestly, from an adult insider perspective, they want to know what career you want to go into, after graduation. It’s a well-meaning curiosity, but you may be stumped by the question and not know what to say in response, if you haven’t figured it out yet.
If you are in that type of position, as a high school student, and want to have an answer, then think about the last time you took a road trip. You needed a roadmap that included your starting point, your destination, and directions on how to get there. It is no different when developing your own career roadmap. Let’s take a look…
The Starting Point In Your Career Exploration Road Trip – Who Am I?
As is the case with any road trip, you must start by plugging in your current location. Career exploration is no different. For you to figure out what career you want, you must have a firm understanding of who you are… There are several resources to get the juices flowing, if there are aspects about yourself that still seem to be something of a mystery. Free personality tests, career quizzes, and even the famous Myers-Briggs test can help you get a solid start.
The Destination For Your Career Exploration Road Trip – Where Am I Going?
After understanding who you are, it’s then time to see what careers may be a good fit for you. This gives you a destination point, which you will need to plug into your career roadmap. Personality test and interest assessment results will list out suggested careers. These are just suggestions. As is the case with any good road trip planning, you have to research your destination. This means you need to do a little bit of your own career and occupational research. Learning more about what specific jobs are in the career field, the education needed, average salary, and typical duties will help you to understand if that’s a destination you want to reach. The "US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook" is a great place to start your research.
The Directions For Your Career Exploration Road Trip – How Do I Get There?
You’ve got your starting point and destination, so now you’ve got to figure out how to get there. It’s now time to customize your own roadmap. You’ve got a co-pilot, so you’re not alone in this! Stride Student Success Coaches specialize in working with students, to help them with creating customized career roadmaps. Coaches help you figure out how you can earn the degrees, or certifications, needed for your intended career. You also work with a coach to come up with how to learn or hone the skills and competencies needed through different classes, clubs, internships, shadowing experiences, or jobs while in high school.
Detouring Along The Way, During Your Career Exploration Road Trip – What If I Want To Change My Destination?
In the middle of traveling to, or once arriving at, your destination, you may have the thought, “Wait, I want to go someplace different.” This is common, and it is all a part of the career exploration process. This is especially fair given the fact that you are a teenager and still learning about yourself, and the world around you.
This is likely the moment where we, coach and high school student, go back to your starting point. We will then begin pulling on what you’ve learned about yourself in this process, and start figuring out what new career destination you want to head towards. Together, we will come up with a new destination and a set of directions to get you there!
To learn even more from our Stride Success Coaches, be sure to read the Finding Your Path article, for additional career prep advice.
And, check out the article on How To Make The Most Out Of A Virtual Career Fair, too!
To learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and how it prepares them for life after high school through career exploration or college readiness, visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html
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