How to Discover Your Career Path Early in Life

What are you going to do with your future? This question is asked all through school, framed as the most important factor of your life. Because choosing a career is weighted as such a determining event in the future, people list their career as one of their top causes of stress constantly.

Determining the right career path is not straightforward, and the answer doesn’t come in a second. However, it’s never too late to start, and the earlier you get started, the better.

These days there are so many career options, some for positions that weren’t even created until 20 years ago. With the job market as diverse as it is today, finding the perfect fit for you will take some snooping around and research. This part sounds a little boring, but you’re discovering what you’re passionate about and what you want to spend your life doing. It’s important to take time exploring all your options. In order to start looking at what is available to you, follow these tips and you’ll be well on the way to your life purpose.

Volunteer

Starting from high school on, you should always look in your local community for volunteer opportunities. These will mostly be centered on service, but it gives you good experience and a glimpse of what you could potentially go into. There are chances to volunteer for political campaigns, your local church, and various non-profit organizations that suit your interests (animal shelters, youth development centers, etc.).

Volunteering is also a good way to network and pick up new connections. Those people could be the key to starting a fulfilling career, and you wouldn’t have gained the access without volunteering in the same organization.

Volunteering will also look amazing on resumes and give you a leg up from the competition when going into an interview. Even if the field you end up pursuing does not relate to your volunteer experience, there is always a way to spin it towards being applicable to the job.

Internship

Internships are usually only considered something college students do, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Internships, paid and unpaid, are just looking for eager individuals to help them with their cause or to promote their projects.

If there’s a specific industry you are looking into, research local companies and their internship opportunities. Otherwise, a simple internet search for internships in your area will let you know what is available. Try to narrow down the type of work you’d like to do as well, whether it be out on the field actively participating, or doing the work behind the scenes.

And don’t be afraid to apply for an internship outside of your comfort zone—it might end up being something you enjoy enough to pursue as a career path.

Education

Of course, an important part of getting into the job market and being a competitive candidate is to get the right type of schooling. A four-year university is not for everyone, depending on the path you want to follow. There are plenty of options, depending on the career you would like to go into, as long as you are willing to work.

If you are looking for a career in academia, in any sense, a four-year university degree is required. Most higher-level positions also require the same amount of education. But this is not the end of the world—there are plenty of lower-level positions that allow for upward mobility if you put the work in.

There are also jobs that require technical school or exams instead of an extensive education. The process of obtaining a license in the state of Virginia doesn’t have to be complicated and could lead to a successful career in which you are the master of your own destiny. Becoming a contracted worker is a popular career move for those who want more independence, and those who offer a trade or service that they are experts in.

 


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