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Where are You Headed?

What do you want to be when you grow up? An artist or an athlete? How about a writer or a medical researcher?

Whatever it is, you will learn that there are many paths to a career. After high school, you can choose to continue school, get an apprenticeship, go into military service, or begin a career right away.

This may seem far away, but it's not too early to start thinking about your future goals. In fact, it's time to get started!

You probably know people who are teachers, doctors, actors, and lawyers. But did you know that there are thousands of other careers out there? To help you figure out what careers might interest you someday, answer these questions and share your answers with your parents, friends, or your favorite teacher or counselor.

  1. What are your three best personal qualities?
  2. What are your top three interests or hobbies?
  3. What are the top three activities you don't like?
  4. What are the top three things you're good at?
  5. What are the top three most important things to you in life?
  6. What are the top three things that would be important to you in a job?
  7. When you are ready to work, what are three jobs you would want to do?
  8. What are your favorite subjects in school?
  9. What are your least favorite subjects in school?
  10. To be a good student, in what areas do you need to improve?
  11. What three things do you think would make the world a better place?
  12. What three things would make you happy in life?
  13. What options are you thinking about after high school (like working, going to college, traveling)?
  14. Have you talked about your goals after high school with your friends, family, teachers, or counselors?
(From Junior Achievement and the National Career Development Association)

What can you do now?

After you learn more about your interests and skills, you can see how these interests relate to different careers.

  • Talk to people who have jobs you might want to do. If your school has a career day, get involved!
  • Schedule time to talk to guidance counselors about what training you'll need for different jobs, and what they like and don't like about their jobs.
  • Visit your library for books on preparing for your future career.
Learning more about yourself can also help you figure out what steps you need to take while in school. For example, are there certain classes you should take if you're going to college or applying for an apprenticeship? Are there extracurricular activities, like being a club treasurer, which will give you helpful skills?

Also think about volunteering and getting a summer job, which can give you good job experience.

You don't need to have all of the answers right now, but it's good to start thinking about what you want to do in the future. It is also important to be open to exploring different options and to think about what interests you.

For more information on future paths visit www.girlshealth.gov

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