Planning for Your Career in High School and Beyond – Birds on the Blog

Planning for Your Career in High School and Beyond

 

Whether you are preparing to graduate high school or college, you are likely feeling overwhelmed with the number of things you have to accomplish before graduation. However, there is no need to fret; as long as you apply yourself and plan ahead, you will be able to move on to the next stage of your life without having to contend with too much stress.

Use High School to Prepare for Your Future

For young women in high school, now is the perfect time to start imagining yourself in different careers. Even if you feel like you have your future perfectly laid out, plans and preferences can easily change — and that is okay. Part of growing up, and getting older in general, is adjusting your previously held views to fit your burgeoning worldview. So, even if you feel like you are bound for the medical field, try not to limit yourself. Use your imagination to hypothesize what it would be like to become an architect, for instance, an engineer, or another position requiring scientific precision and constant attention to detail. Not only will this help inform your eventual choice, but it will also give you fodder when you are writing your college application letters.

Try delving deeper into different subjects by talking to teachers, older friends, and other adults who have been in your desired field. You may even begin to form valuable connections that can lead to a mentor relationship or help foster a career path down the road. If you become interested in a particular subject, you can test the waters by finding a volunteer opportunity.  Everything from working with animals at shelters, soup kitchens or spending time with at-risk youth can open your eyes to a larger world view. Plus, volunteering can help you decide what you like and what you don’t like about a particular field, and it looks great on a college application — or even your first resume.

One thing to keep in mind as you begin to enter the professional world is that many employers will take a serious look at the social media accounts of their prospective employees. In fact, 93 percent of employers have used social media as a way to evaluate the skills, temperament, and behaviour of those who have applied to a position. It is worthwhile to go through your social media accounts and make sure they do not portray you in an unflattering light.

Focus on Networking and Gathering Experience in College

If you are in college, much of the same advice applies. However, college also is a good time to expand your set of contacts in preparation for the professional world. If you don’t know anyone, network! Every place is a good starting point — try speaking to your parents’ friends or colleagues about internship opportunities and job prospects. Attend networking events, and do your best to remember names for the future. (This applies even if you do not have a college degree. Communication and self-marketing are key to getting your foot in the door in any field.)

It is also worthwhile to begin writing your resume. Even if you don’t currently have any job offers, it will make the application process easier and efficient if you have your resume written already. Start with a personal summary, and be sure to give your education and volunteer experience high priority. Resumes are all about presentation; even if your previous work experience is unrelated to the job for which you are applying, phrase your bullet points in such a way that suggests your experience will be useful in some part of the job. You may also wish to enter the gig economy to find temporary jobs to help build experience in your field.

Getting started in the business world can be difficult, whether you are a young woman about to graduate high school, in the middle of her college career, or in postgrad. However, by networking, focusing on self-presentation, and gathering as much experience as possible, you will be able to forge a successful career.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
Author - Lucy Reed Gigmine

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