Making Career Connections

Young children begin acting out their futures through play with limitless imaginations about their talents and interests. As youth grow, teenagers inherit desires to self-explore while developing a unique definition of individuality. With self-exploration comes an increased expectation of responsibility and a greater understanding of one’s community, culture and society. It is throughout one’s adolescent years when career exploration becomes a decision-making process, which aligns values with talents in order to pursue a career that meets needs while also providing satisfaction.

Summer vacation is a great opportunity for teens to focus on career exploration.

  • Interview people who are employed in an occupation.
  • Job shadow someone in a career appealing to you.
  • Serve an internship or apply for a part-time job with a business or organization.
  • Volunteer with an organization, doing tasks relevant to your possible future career.
  • Attend a career fair or a job fair.

As you go about your exploration, be sure to pay attention to detail and take notes. Career decision-making will require a lot of personal reflection to best determine what opportunities are a good fit. Some things to consider include:

  • What personal characteristics, qualities, skills, and abilities are needed to work in this career?
  • What are two or more characteristics of this position that appeal to me?
  • Describe a typical work day or work week?
  • Would I enjoy doing this every day? Why or why not?
  • What steps must I take to prepare myself to work in this career (such as education, licensing, certification)?
  • What can I learn in school that will help me in this career?
  • What are the working conditions and physical demands of this career?
  • What are the benefits of this career (such as salary, health, and travel)?
  • What are future prospects and outlook for this career?

By:  Nora Rhoades