By Shannon Elward, Indiana Commission for Higher Education
Not sure what career you’re interested in? There are tons to choose from, so it can be difficult to even decide on a few options to look into! A few months ago, we posted about some great career exploration tools, like exploring Indiana Career Explorer and Indiana Career Ready. And don’t forget—your family, school counselors and teachers can be great resources, too. Just because you aren’t seeing your teachers and school counselors face-to-face right now doesn’t mean they aren’t available for help, guidance and support.
Let’s take a look some other activities you can do at home to start thinking about the future you want.
1. Narrow your focus: Try to narrow down your interests to 2-3 different career clusters. Career clusters are a group of careers that all fit into some same category – like STEM, IT or Manufacturing. Think about classes you like at school, career clusters that align with your personal interests, and more. We have a list of questions that can help you get started here. When I was in high school, I loved classes like English, sociology and world civilizations. In short, I loved reading and writing and I loved learning about how groups of people interact. Career clusters like Arts and Communications Education and Training lined up with my interests.
2. Take a personality test: Personality tests can be a fun—and informational— way to get some ideas of careers that might suit you. Learn More Indiana has a short version of the MBTI, or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, located here. There are 16 personality types, according to MBTI, each of them with a four-letter code that tells us if we are:
- Extrovert or Introvert
- Intuitive or Sensor
- Feeler or Thinker
- Judger or Perceiver
Once you take the personality quiz, you’ll find your four-letter personality code and a few careers that might be a good fit. For example, my personality type is INFJ. It says I may be suited for careers like: Therapist, Social Worker, HR Manager, Organizational Development Consultant or Customer Relations Manager. Maybe you won’t be interested in any of your matches, but it’s a great way to start thinking about what jobs fit your personality.
3. Do some research: Have a short list? Or at least have a couple of careers that sound a little interesting? Now’s the time to really dig in and do some research. What kind of schooling do these careers require? Will you be working in an office all day? How much money can you expect to earn? Use this worksheet to do some research. Resources like INDemand Jobs and the Occupational Outlook Handbook are great options to explore. And, if you know someone in one of the careers you’re interested in, now is a great time to call, Skype or FaceTime them to find out about their job.
Most of all, remember to keep your options open. Your interests might change over time, and that’s ok! Use this time to start thinking about who you are and what you want in the future. Sharing your results on social media? Use #LearnMoreIN so we can see!
We know that many Hoosier students, families and educators are coping with school day closures and elearning for the next few weeks in response to COVID-19. Over the next month, our blog will be dedicated to college and career readiness activities that can be done from home. And, don’t forget to explore our classroom materials page for grade-specific college, career and cost activities.