Researching Careers: A Practical Guide to Home Education – Planning Ahead (Part 8)

How will you know what you are supposed to do with your life? Most young students are not only relatively clueless about this, but usually stress over it. There is no need to worry!

However, there is one thing I should remind you about before we begin today’s discussion.

You will find this admonition in Matthew 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-31. To summarize, it simply says, “don’t worry, because it is a waste of time” and so “seek God and His Kingdom and He will take care of the rest”!

Still, we do need to do our part. We need to be moving so He can direct or steer us to where we will best serve Him by being who He has created us to be.

Let’s review the obvious. You will not likely choose a career that has you doing something you don’t like or can’t do. That can and does happen, but usually within a school environment in attempting to create something of you.

You have already been created, so let’s go and find out what you have been created for!

In the beginning, you will find yourself in the frustrating position of trying to find a job without having experience and not having that experience because you don’t have a job! Yuk! However, there is a way to remedy this situation.

Volunteer! Very few volunteering opportunities require prior experience, while volunteering does provide opportunity to gain some. If nothing more, it will provide a chance to demonstrate your time management skills as well as your ability to follow instructions.

Not only will you benefit the agency that you have volunteered to help, but this can provide you with insights that no textbook can provide, not to mention that coveted letter of reference that will help you find that first job.

Volunteering does not have to be in keeping with your potential career. It is simply to get you out of the house, help others, and gain work experience.

If you find “your place” by doing so, great! But know that to discover what you do not like or do well is also very instructive.

If you can get part-time work to help you demonstrate maturity and gain experience, good. Unlike volunteering, part-time work pays! Both are great ways to learn about yourself and the world you are in, even if unrelated to your ultimate life’s work.

The biggest obstacle to success is obviously doing nothing to make it happen.

You should be giving lots of thought to what you may be interested in doing, but remember that as a relatively young person, you may be afflicted with a deceptive sense of romanticism.

That is, you are likely “seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses,” and unable to clearly see everything a job or career entails. But you can take steps to reduce this natural tendency.

Once you have identified a potential occupation, conduct a comprehensive investigation of it to determine both the positive and negative aspects about it.

Record your findings towards the creation of a Career Investigation Report that you can present to your parents (this should be a project required of all senior home educating students) as well as others who may find such an effort instructive.

Had more people done this, there would be a lot less dissatisfaction with work in this world. Include all your findings, intelligently organized to clearly show you know what you are talking about.

Start your investigation by interviewing your parents and especially others who have been working in the field.

Volunteer to work in the field to get some inside experience, if possible, or find some part-time work in keeping with that occupation. This is the best way to find what it’s really all about and what is required to be able to do that job.

If volunteering is not possible, spend a day or two job-shadowing a person working within the occupation of interest. No matter what, be sure to ask lots of questions without neglecting to ask your representative what he or she does not like about the job.

Keep in mind that as long as there are people involved, which is always, you will have the relational issues or politics most often brought up as the worst part of any job. Ignore this answer, but pay special attention to all the others.

No doubt the occupation you are investigating requires some level of post-secondary training, but does this necessarily involve attending an institution of higher learning?

I strongly recommend that you only go to college if you absolutely have to. Most colleges and universities are breeding dens for anti-Christian sentiment and left-leaning indoctrination, not to mention being expensive.

If you are interested in a particular training program, you should go to the website of the institution that’s offering the program, review the institution’s calendar to familiarize yourself completely with the program of interest.

If possible, be sure to attend open houses so you can get an even more accurate perspective of what is involved. Be sure to make note of this as part of your Career Investigation Report.

We all know that an informed decision is a good one. Get informed about your occupation of interest.

Not only will this help you to better understand what interests you, but a well-documented Career Investigation Report will impress potential admission people that you are not ignorant of what it is that you want to do.

Now, get investigating!

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