Your Career Plan

In life, you can't get where you want to go unless you plan for it. The same is true with your career and your future. You need a career plan - think of it as your education itinerary.

What types of careers interest you?

Start by deciding on your goal. Explore the jobs that are out there. Research the types of careers available to people with your interests and skills. Find out what it takes to be successful in those careers that interest you. A great place to do this is at

Ask your high school counselor for information about careers. Surf the web. Sites like the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Occupational Outlook Quarterly offer details about hundreds of careers.

Research the education requirements for the field that interests you. If you need an advanced degree, will you have the money and patience to go the distance?

To a large extent, your career determines what your life is like. It determines the amount of money you make, the free time you have, the physical environment you work in. Does the career you want pay a salary you can live with? Will it offer you opportunities to grow and move up in the world? Can you put up with sitting at a desk all day or traveling all the time?

Another thing you have to think about is the rapidly changing job market. Is the career you're considering likely to be around when you're ready for a job? How might it be different from the way it is today?

Many high schools offer students the chance to visit businesses in their areas to get a feel for what it's really like to work in a certain field. Ask your high school counselor if your school offers or can plan for such an opportunity.

Think about creating your own opportunities. Contact a business in your area and see what they can share with you about the jobs they offer in a field that interests you. Ask if they have internships in the summer that might give you firsthand experience. Talk to someone employed in the career you think you would enjoy.

Start your plan today!

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