Career planning can be an overwhelming task for anyone, but the younger you are the more daunting it can seem. The great news is that the younger you are when you start planning your career, the better off you’ll be. It’s certainly never too late to start, but it’s also never too early.
Many of the high school freshmen we work with seem confused when we start asking them about their plan for after high school. After all, they only just started, and after high school is at least a few years away. And they’re right. They do have plenty of time to start working on their career plan. But the sooner you make a plan, the easier it will be to reach your goals.
We recommend all of our freshmen at least start by taking a career assessment. We offer a comprehensive career matching system to help our clients find careers that not only match their interests and skills, but also their preferences for work environment, activity level and more. We don’t expect them to know exactly what they want to do right away, but we hope to point them in the general direction they might want to start looking.
Here are a few of the short-term goals we suggest our high school freshmen start with:
– I will research my top five career options.
– I will select a single career field to pursue
– I will research education options for my chosen career field
Our complete online career planner includes many other options. The goal for high school freshmen when starting their career plan is to narrow down their options. We encourage them to consider how long they’re willing to train or go to school after high school for the career they intent to pursue, and how much money they think they will need or want to make on an annual basis. Because we encourage the setting of SMART goals, we think discovering students’ lifestyle goals as well as their commitment to education and potential limitations in pursuing that education are important for setting realistic and achievable goals.