During the course of adolescence students begin to develop answers to important career-related questions. The first group of questions revolves around the basic theme of “Who Am I? What am I passionate about? What subjects do I like/not like? What type of environment brings out the best in me?” Self-reflection and obtaining feedback from others become important tools in helping students discover these answers.
Additional tools include self-inventories or questionnaires which provide a more specific means of learning about possible career interests. These results assist students in identifying their own interests and understanding how those interests connect with various career options.
Numerous websites offer free career assessments and information, which are open to anyone. Examples include:
A second set of questions addresses the issue of “What Are My Options? What types of jobs/majors exist? What do people in those fields actually do each day? How do I prepare for the job I want?” It is important for parents to remember they are a very critical resource in answering these questions. It is surprising how many high school students cannot describe their parents’ jobs with any specificity. Asking questions of adults about their careers is a rich source of information.
In addition to the resources listed above, websites that provide detailed information regarding a wide range of careers include:
Students who are undecided regarding a career should take advantage of any opportunities to learn about new subjects or jobs. Take courses that are not familiar, register for unique summer experiences, “shadow” a professional who works in an interesting career, or volunteer. Any new experience will help teens begin to answer both sets of critical questions.
Oak Hill Academy parents participate actively in their student’s career adventures during the Career Fair held on campus during Spring Parents’ Days. Parents or grandparents from a variety of career fields are on campus to answer questions and disseminate information to students regarding their jobs and the education or training necessary to obtain them.