for Career Clues
By Jim Davis
"I don't have
That's the answer
I often get when I ask teens, and sometimes even college seniors,
what kind of job or career they want. And it's easy to see why. There
are hundreds of different kinds of careers out there to choose from.
And each career presents lots of job possibilities. It's overwhelming
if you don't have some kind of a plan.
there's a kind of "game plan" that will work for almost
anyone. And it will work regardless of whether you plan to go to
college, technical or business school, or directly to work when you
finish high school. It is simple, and with the help of the Internet
it's fairly easy to do. It basically involves asking yourself a few
questions and looking for the answers.
What am I interested in?
This is the place
to start. Getting a handle on what your main interests are can help
you begin to zero in on the kinds of jobs or careers you want to find
out more about. It can also help you find out what kinds of skills
you'll need. Remember, even though you don't have the skills now
doesn't mean you can't learn them. Of course, just because you are
interested in a particular job doesn't mean you'll be able to meet
the requirements for the job. For example, you might be interested in
being a jockey and racing thoroughbred horses, but if you are six
feet tall you won't have a chance at that one. You could, however,
still be able to become a horse trainer. You wouldn't be able to ride
in races, but you could still have a career working with race horses.
web site www.collegeboard.org will make it easier to identify
regardless of whether or not you plan to go to college.
the questions and the computer will use your answers to come up with
several different types of jobs that you may be interested in. By
clicking on each of the choices you can find out more about them.
What are my skills?
This step involves
going through a kind of brainstorming session to figure out what
things you are good at and what skills are involved in them.
The Internet can
come to your rescue again, though, because there are "skills
inventory" web sites that make this process a lot easier.
The best one I
have found is the Occupational
You can use this
web site in several different ways:
What are those jobs like?
There are several
ways to find out what a job is like and whether you would really be
interested in it. One of the best is to find a person who actually
does that kind of work and "shadow" them on the job. Of
course, this is usually not very easy to do. Another way is to
research the job by using books from the library or materials from
the guidance office at school.
Internet provides ways to make the hunt for a career a lot easier.
Just go to the Occupational
Outlook Handbook web site:
This web site has
lots of information about all sorts of jobs, such as what it's like
to do the job, what education you'll need, the kind of pay you can
expect, and even how easy it will be to find work in that field.
If you follow
these suggestions, you may not find out exactly what kind of work you
want to do, but you should be a lot farther along than you were before.
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