Which Jobs Are Right for You?
Deciding what career you want to pursue is exciting. But because there are so many career paths it can be hard to choose. You might read about a court case in the news and want to be a trial lawyer. Then, after you watch a wildlife documentary, becoming a marine biologist might seem like a good idea.
How do you decide which to choose, or even where to start? Here’s an activity that can help you explore the possibilities. You’ll gain more than a better understanding of various jobs; you’ll also learn something new about yourself.
Step 1: Think about what interests you.
Divide a page into four columns. Label the first two columns “Interests” and “Job Ideas.” In the first column, list your interests, such as children or sports. Then in the second column, list jobs that have something to do with each interest.
Need help? Think about people you’ve read about or met who have interesting jobs, or use the career quizzes that are available in your counselor’s office or online.
Step 2: Consider how to get there.
Label the third column “Requirements.” No, you don’t have to plan your whole life right now, but it’s good to know what skills, classes and degrees different jobs require.
You might discover that you don’t like any of the courses needed to complete a college major that would prepare you for one of the jobs on your list. To get information about education requirements for different jobs, use Major and Career Search.
Step 3: Try it out.
Label the last column “Things I Can Do Now” and list ways of getting a feel for what one of the jobs on your list is really like. You can choose some of these ideas or come up with your own:
- Volunteer where you’re likely to meet someone who has one of the jobs you’re interested in.
- Look into a paid or unpaid internship.
- Accompany someone working in that field to see what a day on the job is like.
- Conduct research at the library or on the Web.
- Find a mentor who can give you perspective and advice.
- Talk to family members and friends who work in those careers or know others who do.
Once you’ve gotten a better feel for a career, decide whether you still want to keep it on your list. Even if you decide to cross it off, you’ll have gained valuable insight into what you might like to do.