Have you figured out what you want your future to look like?
Whether you’ve known what job you want since the second grade, or have no idea what kind of jobs are out there, a little career planning can’t hurt. Many high school students think that career planning is something that begins once they leave school. Career planning, in fact, is an ongoing process that allows you to rethink and reevaluate yourself and your career options as you have experiences and as you grow and develop. It is a process and not a one-time event even though many adults in our culture don’t recognize that fact.
The best way to begin the process of self-exploration is while you’re in high school. Self-exploration allows you to get to know yourself. Now is the time to learn about who you are and what you are good at. How can you do that? Below are some activities that will help you find out about many types of experiences:
- Take a variety of classes to learn subjects, strengths and interests.
- Learn to develop new skills through clubs, activities, etc.
- Ask questions of anyone working in a career that interests you.
- Talk to career professionals, advisors, counselors, teachers, parents and friends.
- Do some research into careers that you think you might like; find the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and just browse or go online, especially ONET; also Google careers you like.
- Find summer or part-time jobs or volunteer experiences that allow you to work around or in areas of interest; if you like construction then try to get a summer, part-time, or full-time job with a home builder, a commercial contractor or an industrial contractor or a subcontractor who has a specialty like plumbing, excavation, electrical or road construction. If you are not interested in construction, just use this as an example of how to break down career fields in which you are interested.
There are several ways that Youth Services can help you employ strategies to achieve future career success and satisfaction and understand the relationship between personal qualities, education and training, and the world of work:
Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) is a year-round Youth Services career-focused program for youth 14 to 17 years old in Brattleboro as well as Townshend and Bellows Falls. The goals of increasing career preparation and developing work-readiness skills will be achieved through a combination of one-on-one mentoring, training on workplace skills, site visits to businesses and colleges, job shadowing and internships as well as the development of individual career plans.
Case Management at Youth Services allows you to work one-on-one with a trained counselor on a regular basis to address areas where you need support. These may include employment and career development, budgeting skills and money management, exploring and pursuing educational goals, life skills, housing, substance abuse screening and referrals, building social supports, etc.
Summer Employment Programs promote occupational and academic learning while providing six weeks of employment from early July to mid-August. Selected youth will gain experience working in agriculture, landscaping and service fields while learning important life skills that will better prepare youth for entering the workforce and living independently.
Summer Employment List is a listing of summer jobs around Windham County at area camps and other seasonal businesses.
KEY TO USING THE INFORMATION BELOW: Each of the categories below will assist you help yourself get the information you will need about YOU, your education and training, and your next career or job hunting steps. Check out the categories, find the one(s) that seem most pertinent and browse the information to see what materials or websites seem on target to meet your needs. Next, explore these resources.
- Tips for Finding Employment
- How Adults Can Help Youth Achieve Their Future Plans
- Career Exploration, Planning and Decision Making
- Occupational Information (including links by professions)
- Employment Trends
- Salary Information
- Trade and Professional Associations
- Military Information
- Educational Information
- Distance Education
- Seminars, Short Courses and Certification Opportunities
- Financial Aid Information
- Apprenticeships and Other Alternative Training Opportunities
- Job Search and Advice
- Job Banks
- Researching Employers
- Directory of Online Employment Information
- Windham County Summer Jobs Listing - PDF
- Starting Your Own Business - The Other Career Choice [- a PDF]