High School Is A Critical Time For Career Readiness
By Courtney White, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
As a high school student, you probably know that settling into a career is closer than ever. While you may not be hyper-focused on the years after graduation, this is the perfect time to prepare. There are many things you can do to position yourself for success after you graduate. Here are four things you can do to optimize your high school years for career readiness.
Follow a timeline for career readiness
Scheduling a meeting with your school counselor is the first step. This can help you know what you need to fulfill graduation requirements, help you better understand next steps for college (if that is your plan), and assist you in discovering other options if your career journey will not include college. Having a timeline, or checklist, makes your vision clear and keeps important tasks in the forefront. If you need more one-on-one assistance with creating a checklist of your specific goals and plans, consider working with career mentor or success coach during this time.
Enroll in a career pathway for readiness
Most high schools offer career-themed programs, which present courses that are centered on specific jobs. For example, your school may have a business career pathway, where you would be offered courses that cover economics and finances. If you are currently enrolled in your school’s career pathway program, ensure you are making the best of your time by giving 100% of your efforts to it, and also by looking for opportunities to connect what you are learning with your career aspirations.
Conduct research and attend career fairs
Research is arguably one of the most valuable steps you can take towards optimizing your high school years for career readiness. You’ve heard the saying “knowledge is power,” and that is exactly the case when it comes to choosing a career. The more information you have, the easier it is to decide what career will suit you best. Spend time really diving into details such as projected job growth, salary, and required education for each career that interests you. Check with your teachers, school counselors, and look around online for opportunities to attend career fairs… and be sure to show up with lots of questions.
Gain experience for career readiness
Use your high school years to your advantage by staying involved in activities that will enrich your future goals. Consider a part-time job that is relevant to your preferred career field (for instance, if you are contemplating working in education, then babysitting for a few hours a week would be valuable experience). Many retail and service jobs that are perfect for high school students also teach essential money and time management skills, customer service viewpoints, critical thinking, and even leadership skills. Other ways to gain experience are through school clubs and extracurricular activities. You can also volunteer in your community to promote career readiness.
The high school years are the last full years before you embark on your career journey, in one way or another. Optimize the next chapter in your life by having a solid career plan, some applicable experience, and the tools needed to navigate you towards success.
For more information to help you on your career journey, be sure to check out this Stride Insight’s article, Finding Your Path!
You can also explore all of the options available with Stride Career Prep, to help you get ready for your future, here!
And, to learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and what it offers, be sure to visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html