Career Planning

You live in a very mobile society where it is common for adults to move from one job to another several times before reaching retirement age. Therefore, whether you are currently confident that you have already discovered the perfect career path for yourself, or whether you are currently clueless about your career options, your educational and vocational travels may take unexpected detours over the coming years. In order to best prepare yourself for life's unexpected detours, try to think in terms of developing solid life skills and flexible workplace skills, rather than focusing exclusively on one single "dream job."

If you have already identified a "dream job," that's fine! Go for it -- but also have a realistic back-up plan or two. At this stage in your life it is important for you to identify at least a couple of possible career paths which could be meaningful, satisfying and fulfilling for you. Begin by thinking about your personal interests and your natural abilities. You may find it helpful to use some career planning assessments; these planning tools are available through your guidance counselor, in print form, and on-line (e.g., http://www.careerkey.org/). Continue to check-out career possibilities through high school courses, part-time work, job shadowing, internships, volunteer work, and informational interviews.

Also give serious consideration to your life goals: What do you want to be doing with your life in ten years? Twenty years? Forty years? Please keep in mind the old saying that "money isn't everything." Evaluate your current skills and abilities, and consider how you may need to develop those skills and abilities in order to reach your goals. If a college education will help you develop your skills and abilities -- and reach your life goals -- then begin determining which colleges might best suit your unique needs and dreams. Resist the temptation to choose a college (or a college major) just because you think it will be fun or exciting; rather, choose a college (and a college major) because it best supports your desire to move your life in a particular direction.

Your guidance counselor can be an invaluable aid to you in the career planning process. You may also want to contact the Counseling Services Department (803-822-3505) or the Admissions Office (803-738-8324) at Midlands Technical College for assistance.