Explore Your Interests

What are you good at? Do you have something you love to do? Whether it's playing sports or playing an instrument, your interests today say a lot about what career you might have tomorrow. To get there, follow these ten steps. And be sure to discuss them with your school counselor, parent or guardian:

Step 1

Make a list of your skills and interests. Think hard about what you enjoy and what you are good at.

Step 2

Find out more about the kinds of the jobs that interest you, along with their educational requirements, salary, working conditions, future outlook and anything else that can help you decide what's best.

Step 3

Make a second list of possible jobs that you would like to have and compare it with your skills and interests. The job that matches your skills and interests the closest may be the career for you.

Step 4

Choose your career goal. Once you've decided what occupation matches up best, then you can begin developing a plan to reach your career goal.

Step 5

Develop a career plan. Think about what you want to do and find out more about the kind of training, education and skills you will need to achieve your career goal.

Step 6

Select a school that offers a college degree or training program that best meets your career goal and financial needs.

Step 7

Find out about financial aid to help support you in achieving your career goal.

Step 8

Learn about job hunting tips as you prepare to graduate or move into the job market.

Step 9

Prepare your resume, and practice job interviewing techniques.

Step 10

Go to your career guidance center at school or a local library for information and help on career planning.

Bonus!

Learn more about Making a Sample Career Plan.

Sample Career Plan

Making a career plan is a matter of matching your skills and interests to an occupation to create a career goal, and then deciding the steps you need to take to reach that goal. Here's a sample:

Career Goal

To become a civil engineer. To design, plan and supervise the construction of buildings, highways and rapid transit systems.

Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in engineering
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Creativity
  • Analytical mind
  • Capacity for detail
  • Presentation skills
  • Writing skills
  • Knowledge of physical sciences and mathematics
  • Accreditation by Licensing Board

Current Skills and Interests

  • Summer worker for Smith Construction Co.
  • High school mathematics courses
  • High school science courses
  • High school writing courses
  • Experience working as a team
  • Gave presentations in high school courses

Plan to Reach Career Goal

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Attend the University of Texas School of Engineering
  • Job experience
  • Continue working for Smith Construction Co.
  • Seek internships through university career placement office
  • Networking
  • Join campus organizations for engineering students

Courtesy of Mapping Your Future.org: http://mappingyourfuture.org/PlanYourCareer/.

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