When you’re a senior in high school it seems like every day you have an adult telling you to pursue your dream career.

That’s a noble endeavor and sure, you want to reach for the stars, but has anybody ever given you a clear direction on exactly how to do that?

As you work toward the career of your dreams, what are some ways to ensure that you get there?

Education Really Matters

It’s a popular idea that you don’t need to go to college to land a great-paying job and be set for life. Although it is possible if you find yourself in just the right circumstances, the overwhelming majority of working adults would agree that some form of secondary education will greatly increase your chances of landing the job you’ve always wanted. Working the front desk at an electrician’s office will only get you so far; a masters in electrical engineering online will move you from the front desk to the front lines. 

Even if you don’t want to go to a four-year university and get a big expensive degree, that’s perfectly fine. Plenty of other options are available to you like technical schools, community colleges and professional certification courses. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need nothing more than a high school diploma to get you a great job.

Figure Out What Makes You Feel Fulfilled

The American way of life is to graduate high school, go to college, get a job and work until you’re in your 60s. If you think about the long stretch of your life that will be spent working, you need to figure out what it is that you want to spend your life doing. Sometimes taking a “temporary” job can turn into a cushy habit and before you know it, you’ve sunk a decade into a job you really don’t enjoy.

Now’s your chance to learn what makes your heart sing. What do you love doing that you know you’d be happy doing for the rest of your life? Consider your hobbies, your extracurricular activities, the things you do to pass the time. Could anything make you a career down the road?

Decide How To Make It Happen

Once you’ve narrowed down what you want to do for a living, now’s your next step: How do you make your dream a reality? For example, if you’ve decided that you want to be a librarian, you can’t just walk into a library and demand an application for a lead job. There is training and schooling required, as well as required secondary education that you might not be aware of.

Remember also that skills are something more than what Napoleon Dynamite wants to impress girls. Being able to obtain a skill set for a particular career path will greatly increase your odds of succeeding and doing well once you get there. If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things that need to happen, reach out to your career center representative or school counselor. It’s their business as professionals to help you succeed, and this is part of why they’re employed at a high school.

Check Out Internships And Volunteer Opportunities

If you want to learn more about a subject, what better way than to dive feet first into it? Volunteering within the field you want to be in as well as checking around for possible internships is a fantastic way to see up close and personal what it’s like behind the scenes. This will help you get a better idea of what kinds of duties and daily activities are required from the job, and could also help you to decide whether or not this path is for you at all. It’s smart to get a feel for a career before blindly deciding that you want to pursue it.

Right now at this point in your life there are so many opportunities in front of you, but the window is only so wide. Do some soul-searching and figure out what you want to do with your life in the years to come.

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