High school career planning


High school career planning

High school career planning

SoalSMA - High school career planning - High school is a time of rapid change and personal exploration for many students.  Now is a good time to start thinking carefully about possible future careers and taking steps to work toward those careers.  Although considering a career can seem daunting, career exploration for high school students need not be stressful.  By breaking down the process into manageable steps, students can consider their options and prepare for future opportunities. 

Also, although career preparation in high school can be very useful, not everyone chooses and pursues a single career from adolescence, and that's okay.  This article is about how to consider your options, learn about your needs, and get a head start on your future. 

Identify skills and needs

The first thing to consider when engaging in a career search is your skills and interests.  What makes you happy?  What do you want to know more about?  There are many ways to go about this process, but the most important thing is to ask yourself questions about your needs and desires with an open mind.  To get started, consider the following questions: 

What subjects do you enjoy?  why? 

What extracurricular activities do you like?  why? 

What are you passionate about? 

What kind of lifestyle do you want to have in the future? 

What are your main goals for your life and career? 

Take a moment to answer these questions before moving on to the next sections, which will go into more detail about your skills, interests, and lifestyle goals.  Taking a personality test can help you work through these questions. 


Any career assessment worth its salt for high school students can begin by discussing skills.  Simply 'What am I good at?'  Ask yourself.  It might be somewhat helpful, but that's a specific line of questioning.  Instead of asking such a broad question, think about different skill sets and how they relate to each other.  It is important to think outside the box and consider skills that are not only academic in nature.  Check out the following list and assess where your own skills lie: 



    Career applications


    You have excellent grammar and spelling skills.  You know how to organize your ideas into an essay.  You can edit your ideas to make them sharper. 

    Television writer, creative writer, producer, journalist


    You know how to think logically.  Understand number systems and formulas.  You can find and correct your mistakes in math problems. 

    Mathematician, research scientist, engineer, coder


    You are always on time and never miss a deadline.  Your notes are clear and concise.  You are amazing at planning events and parties. 

    Project Manager, HR Manager, CEO, Project Manager

    Public speaking 

    You are a natural in public.  They know how to answer questions clearly and effectively.  You may be part of your school's debating club. 

    Lawyers, motivational speakers, news anchors, personal trainers


    Music, dance, painting or theater is your passion.  Love to create in your chosen medium.  You have a great visual eye, and you understand the power of stories. 

Singer, dancer, artist, actor

    to teach 

    You may already be tutoring young students.  You're good at explaining concepts when your friends struggle with homework.  You understand how to help others learn. 

    Teacher, college professor, teacher's assistant, child care professional

    Problem solver 

    They think creatively to come up with solutions to problems.  Complex puzzles are not difficult but a fun challenge.  You understand how to look at issues from different angles. 

    Creative director, business consultant, entrepreneur, filmmaker

    Team work 

    You understand people's individual skills and behaviors.  You are the best team leader and with your help, your peers always achieve good results. 

    HR specialist, hospitality manager, hiring manager, film or theater director


    You don't struggle much with procrastination.  Self-directed projects and time management are easy for you.  You don't need much supervision to get the job done. 

    Executive Assistant, Life Coach, Craftsman, Chef

The sample works given here are only a small representative sample;  Your options aren't the only ones based on a given skill set.  Knowing where your talents lie can help you think about careers that suit you, but it should by no means limit you to a particular set of jobs. 


Understanding where your interests and needs lie is at least as important as your skills.  Your career plays an important role in your life, so finding a career that matches your interests can make a big difference in our overall happiness in life.  Like your skills, your interests don't have to be academic in nature to be relevant to your career plan.  Some questions you can ask yourself about your needs include: 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? 

What topics or concepts make you shine? 

When do you feel your curiosity piqued? 

What are your favorite movies or books?  What are they about? 

What questions do you wonder about? 

Perhaps her favorite school subject is chemistry.  Maybe you like to knit in your spare time.  Or you don't feel as alive as you do when you learn about bugs.  Many of your favorite books are collections of poetry.  Always wanted to know more about black holes.  They love to play video games.  All of these interests are valuable, and can lead you to a variety of careers (even video games).  Consider researching careers or college degrees that focus on your interests to see what opportunities are available. 


Different careers come with different lifestyles and suit different goals.  While it's important to have a career that interests you, pursuing a career that gives you the lifestyle you want can be just as rewarding (if not more so) in the long run.  Consider the following lifestyles and potential jobs: 

    Your goals 

    Possible careers

    You want to travel the world 

    Looking for a job that offers opportunities to travel, such as a nature photographer, diplomat or pilot

    You want to be a parent 

    Are you looking for a part-time job that you can do from home, such as a children's author or software developer?

    You want a profitable job 

    Looking for a high-energy job with room for growth, such as a doctor, COO or dentist

    They want free time in the summer 

    You may want to consider becoming an elementary school teacher, high school coach, or recreation worker.

    They want stability 

    Look for jobs in growing fields, tenure-track jobs, and career opportunities within the organization

A job that makes you happy, fits your talents, and gives you the opportunities you want may seem like a tall order, but it's something you can do with careful thought and planning. 

Gain experience

Experience is one of the most important aspects of career planning for high school students.  After all, how can you know what jobs you'll enjoy without experience?  What's more, experience will make it easier for you to find the kinds of jobs you'll enjoy in the future.  In addition to helping you prepare for a job, experience can boost your resume, help with college applications, and let you learn about yourself.  Consider work experience, volunteer experience, mentoring, and self-directed research and teaching.  Make sure you understand and are prepared for the necessary education for your chosen career. 

work experience

Career activities for high school students almost always mention the importance of getting a job.  It is important to get work experience as a teenager because it makes it much easier to find a job in the future.  It can also help you learn what it's like to work on different types of jobs.  As a teenager, you can find entry-level jobs in the customer service and retail industries.  Although these may not be the types of careers you want to pursue later in life, they can help future employers see your experience and help you learn how to function in a professional environment. 

While you don't have to worry if the jobs you have are not in your chosen field, you should be open to any opportunities that arise in areas of interest.  All high school work experience is valuable, but unusual or particularly interesting jobs can give you a leg up later. 

Volunteer experience

Volunteer experience can be a great source of job exposure for high school students, as well as a great addition to a resume.  Volunteering gives you the opportunity to work in your chosen field more than just getting a job.  Looking for volunteer opportunities is a matter of looking at the options available and finding out what kind of volunteering works best for you and helps you advance your personal goals.  Volunteering can help you connect with your community and make a difference outside of your own career goals.

Graduating high school can be a scary time.  What comes after you walk that step?  Maybe you haven't decided what those next steps look like for you.  Fortunately, these career planning tips for recent high school graduates can ease the transition from high school to independent adulthood.

Career planning tips for high school students

Most recent high school graduates need career counseling before pursuing a college degree or entering the workforce.  This is why career planning begins before graduation.  In this article, Coryer Staffing shares practical tips for recent high school graduates, including tips for finding a job without a college degree.

01. Find a mentor 

First things first, consider getting a counselor.  Don't just take our word for it.  In fact, he reports that having a mentor can give you valuable career planning advice.  Mentors can give you constructive criticism and words of encouragement.  Finally, a mentor can help you set career goals and even introduce you to their network connections, which can lead to new and exciting career opportunities in the future. 

02. Explore your interests 

High school is the perfect time to explore your passions.  Start by learning what you are good at.  And if you're not sure what you're good at?  "If you don't know what you want to do, the question is, 'What do you want to learn about?'" said Steve Schneider, a Wisconsin school counselor interviewed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That's what it says.  "If you really like science, what do you enjoy about it—the lab work, the research?"  Use the answers to these questions to discover your passions and learn more about how they can lead to a meaningful career.

03. Is college the right choice for you?

College isn't the only option for recent high school graduates.  Actually, let's get this out of the way - college is not Perfect fit for everyone.  Fortunately, there are other options.  In fact, many high school graduates enter the workforce after graduation.  Many of these recent high school graduates are enrolled in programs like RAMP, a one-year program designed to give them the opportunity to earn money while exploring a variety of careers in the greater Plattsburgh, NY and Burlington, VT regions.

04. Learn about career opportunities

As a high school senior or recent high school graduate, learning about career opportunities can seem like an impossible task.  The good news is it doesn't have to be.  Staffing agencies like Coryer Staffing have relationships with many local companies in a variety of industries.  You can learn about these job opportunities by viewing the agency's Plattsburgh, NY and Burlington, VT job listings or speaking with a recruiter. 

05. Learn how to write a resume

A resume provides employers with your professional qualifications, including your work experience, skills, education, and accomplishments.  As a recent high school graduate entering the workforce, learning how to write a resume is key.  If you're not sure how to write a resume, consider scheduling an appointment with a Coryer Staffing recruiter. 

06. Get involved

You have a mentor, you've got a good understanding of jobs in the Plattsburgh, NY and Burlington, VT areas, and you have a resume in hand.  Now is the time to get involved.  Consider volunteering for a local organization like the YMCA or joining a young professional group like ADKYP.  Both activities not only help you meet new people and build relationships, but those connections can lead to letters of recommendation, job opportunities, and more.

07. Don't be afraid to make mistakes

When all is said and done, even the best career planning tips for high school students won't prevent you from making some mistakes along the way.  The good news is yours. Learn From these mistakes that help you grow.  And if you need more support along the way?  You can trust the knowledge and experience of the Coyer Staffing team.  Whether you're interested in learning more about RAMP or have questions about jobs in Plattsburgh, NY, Burlington, VT, our team is dedicated to putting you on the path to success. 

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