By Courtney Hott, Indiana Commission for Higher Education

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The question everyone asks you: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” You’re probably thinking, I don’t even know what I want for lunch; how can I decide on something as important as my future career, right now? Choosing your future career can be daunting and scary but there are many resources out there to help you make sense of the madness. The most important thing to remember is you don’t have to be sure right now! This is a time in your life for exploration and experimenting! Check out lots of options. Sometimes finding out what you don’t want to do is just as important as figuring out what you do want to do. So where do you start, you ask? Let’s dive in:

1. Visit with your school counselor. School counselors are trained school personnel to help you with your social life, your emotional well-being, your academics, and your future! Your counselor probably has books, articles, personality assessments, and insight into finding the right career cluster for you.

2. Check out Indiana Career Explorer (free) or Naviance (if your school has a subscription). These programs offer access to different types of assessments to help you choose a path based off of your strengths and preferences. Your personality has a lot to do with what kind of career you will be happy in! If you are incredibly social and like interacting with people, data entry may not be for you. On the other hand, if you like working with computers in a quiet office setting it may be your dream career!

3. Visit IN Career Ready. A great resource for career exploration is the IN Career Ready site. It includes a ton of information on high-need career fields in Indiana! Don’t forget it is important to figure out what you want to do, but also to ensure there are opportunities to be successful!

4. Talk to family members and friends. Ask your family about career paths they considered. Also, ask extended family and family friends about what they do. This is a great way to discover other paths you may not be aware of, and if you’re interested you have a great connection to job shadow!

Choosing a career is an exciting and nerve-wracking decision! Just remember you don’t have to be 100% sure right now! You just need to figure out which direction you are headed in. Utilize the resources around you to expand your knowledge and dive in!

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