Which way will you go?

Feb 20 2012 - 10:44am

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Illustration by SHADE LEEDS/ROy High School/shadeyday@hotmail.com
Illustration by SHADE LEEDS/ROy High School/shadeyday@hotmail.com

By the middle of high school, most students have already started thinking about their future.

It is important for high school students to create a strategy to identify opportunities for selecting their potential career paths based on their interests and experiences. So don't let yourself get to senior year panicking about what you are going to do with your life. Plan ahead and be prepared.

Here are eight tips on how to pick a career path that's right for you.

1. Think about what you really enjoy. Really think about things you enjoy doing in your free time. Maybe you like to write, sing or you're into fashion. These are all things that can open up an entire field of job opportunities for you. Even if you enjoy videogames, you might think about being a game designer or tester or something else in that field.

2. Find your passion. Is there something you do well that stands out above the rest? Maybe you find yourself as a top student in your science class. The grade seems to come easy to you because you enjoy science. This is important to consider as you will be happy with a job you do well. As Confucius once said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

3. Take advantage of the resources around you. Get out there and talk to people. There are school counselors available to discuss potential fields, and even talking with a relative about what they do for a living is a great idea. Most likely, this person will have a lot of job experience and can tell you about some of the work they've done over the years. Learn about what helped them get to where they are and get inspired.

4. Explore your options in high school. If you're interested in medicine, then take on a few health electives. Or maybe you think you might like journalism, so take on a creative writing class. Trying out classes will help you decide whether or not you actually enjoy that field.

5. Get hands-on experience. Job shadowing is a great way to get an idea of a career; this will give you the experience of learning a job and getting to see what it's like on a daily basis. If you want to take it one step further, there are also internships you can apply for to gain the work experience you'll need. For example, TX. offers an amazing internship for aspiring journalists still in high school, and other businesses do the same, from banking to engineering.

6. Remember that it's your decision. Parents can put a lot of pressure on teens to pick a job they can be proud of. Maybe you really want to be a musician, but your parents are counting on you going to law school. In the end, you are the one who has to decide. If music is your passion then don't give up on it. Follow your own dreams, not someone else's.

7. Make a difference. Every generation depends on the next to keep things going. We need better politicians, more advances in the medical field, etc. Choose a career that you can make a difference in, even if it's not a big one. "Be the change you want to see in the world" is how Mahatma Gandhi describes it.

8. It's not all about the Benjamins. When considering a job, most teens want to do something that pays a lot, something that gets us the car or house of our dreams. Although money is important, it's not everything. There is no point in being stuck in a job you hate just because you're making a lot of money. If you love what you're doing and you work hard, you can excel in any career.

Being young, we don't have to decide right away what we're going to do or who we want to be. But having some direction will make things easier when it comes time to graduate. Planning ahead and being prepared is vital to your success.

So find your passion, and your inspiration. No matter what job you choose, as long as you're happy, you will go far.

Miranda Romero is a junior at St. Joseph Catholic High School. She loves volleyball, cheerleading, and track and field. Contact her at mpc127_@msn.com.

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