There are so many influencers in our lives that we look to for help with our future path. Educators, parents, television, movies, celebrities, social media, friends, and that list goes on and on. How do you manage all the advice and information? We’ve talked about the importance of getting an early start on your “Life After High School” journey. Key actions that could really help narrow your search are job shadowing, internships, or even interviewing people that are in jobs that interest you.
I recall a memory from high school. A close friend of mine wanted to be a nurse for as long as I could remember. There was no other career for her. During our junior year, three of us went on an independent field trip to a hospital neonatal intensive care unit. We watched with tears in our eyes through the window as these wonderful nurses were caring for the babies. The nurse with us explained in detail some of the problems these babies were experiencing and some of the duties that they performed to keep them alive. My friend who wanted to be a nurse almost fainted; it took quite a toll on her. After this visit and our interview with the nurse, my friend realized this career was not for her. The other friend with us, who had never even thought about being a nurse, went on to have successful career in nursing. So, the lesson here, take a deeper dive into the job you think you want…. the earlier the better.
Here are some tips to help you plot your path:
- Make a list of several jobs and careers that interest you.
- Check out “Investigate Your Future,” and use the Stepping Stones feature which shows you different career paths you can take to get to the career you’re seeking. There is so much for you to discover! Say you think you might like to be an architect. You might want to spend summers as an apprentice carpenter while you are still in high school. This would give you practical knowledge and firsthand experience on a construction site that others in your field may be lacking. More importantly, it will give you the opportunity to see if you enjoy the work.
- In Pathway, check out the career videos that provide a great overview of careers you might want to explore.
- Make a list of interview questions for the different career paths of interest to you. These questions can be kept in your document library in Pathway for future reference, and changed and updated as your interests evolve.
- Ask your parents if they have any friends that are in these careers. Perhaps you could job shadow them or interview them as part of your research.
- Research and apply for summer internships
- Call companies in your fields of interest to see if you could conduct a video interview with someone in a similar position.
- Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions. Your goal is to see if the answers you receive fit with your likes, dislikes, and interests.
Pamela Brennan, Executive Director of Client Success at FolderWave whose role is to be the voice of the customer, stated “I work very closely with educators and students that are using Pathway. Observing their excitement as they navigate through the platform confirms that our approach is working! We listen to the end users, which has resulted in a superior product. I’ve walked away from many training sessions, focus groups, and Pathway roll-out events with affirmation that Pathway is the tool of the future for College and Career Planning.”