Careers offer us an opportunity to work daily in an area we are passionate about! We can grow, change, mature, and develop a skill set in an area that truly interests us. When we do work that matters, we’re happier, more focused, and have a better outlook on life overall.
Most teens are only exposed to a limited number of careers by the adults in their lives, so it’s important to find resources that help us explore careers outside those already right in front of us.
So, let’s discuss career choices, how to research career fields you’re interested in, and where to find research resources that are credible and helpful!
Exploring Career Awareness and Job Research
Many of us didn’t find our dream career directly after high school, but we explored jobs that interested us and built skills that allowed us to take the next step in the journey to finding what fits us.
This forum allows teen career seekers to ask questions of professionals from all walks of life in many different careers. The responses are well thought out and specific to the questions being asked.
Road Trip Nation
If you’re looking for a fulfilling career, this series of almost 9,000 documentaries explores opportunities, unique career paths, and learning styles through their constant pursuit of new stories by taking their show on the road.
An incredible resource for girls that provides access to female leaders that are role models in their industry and video training that teaches skills such as “how to be a leader,” “being confident,” and “career exploration 101”.
Mapping Your Future
The perfect resource for career seekers that have an idea of an industry that they would like to explore but don’t know what jobs are available in the industry that could fit your skills. Take quizzes to find jobs that fit your personality and strengths, then explore them.
This site offers a comprehensive list of over 400 interviews that showcase a day in the life of business owners and employees in industries, from stock analysts to bail bondsmen. This resource allows you to see their job duties, evaluate if this career could be a good fit for you, and help you decide whether or not to pursue it further.
Firsthand: Day in the Life
A huge library of articles written by industry experts in their field that take you through their entire day so you can read about what a day in the life would look like for you should you choose to pursue that career.
Department of Labor
Every state in the US has its own Department of Labor website with resources on unemployment, job industries in the state, minimum wage, health and safety for employees, workers’ compensation, and apprenticeship programs. Most states have information available specifically for teens or recent graduates!
Browse jobs by pay, industry, highest availability, no degree required, management, and so much more! Type in a keyword to the jobs database, and so many amazing resources are available. If you need help writing a resume, researching careers, applying, or interviewing for jobs, there are resources available.
A free platform full of video lessons, full lesson plans, certification courses, and post-curriculum tests based on industry that was created by certified teachers. Use these resources to strengthen your resume and on-the-job skill set!
US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) K-12 Resource Center
This site offers an Occupational Outlook Handbook with specific resources on various jobs that may interest you. Find information on how to start in the career field and possible growth opportunities, and get creative on how to fund your education.
Take career quizzes to find careers that may interest you, and then research what those career fields look like. Are there jobs available? What training is required? Dig around and see if you can find apprenticeships available on this site that will help you get experience in the field!
Learn about the benefits of finding a career mentor, taking career assessments, developing your learning plan for college or trade school, finding job training or advanced skill set trainings, where to go for job search assistance, how to develop soft skills, applying for apprenticeships in your chosen field, and the differences between internships and apprenticeships. This resource is full of helpful tips and other websites to check out!
This initiative was started by President Obama and is focused on helping teens find gainful employment that leads to long-term careers by providing resources for exploring educational opportunities, crafting strong resumes, and networking to build strong work relationships through mentorship, apprenticeships, internships, and meaningful summer jobs that could turn into long term employment.
A strong list of potential resources for high school students looking to: experience college campus tours, internships and apprenticeships, career planning, college applications and admissions, finding ways to finance your college education, planning your college journey, how to manage stress, and exploring careers.
Career development and planning resources intentionally designed as a one-stop shop of career resources for high school students and career counselors. These resources are meant to teach about job searching, preparing for interviews, the application process, job shadowing, career planning, military opportunities, interactive and educational games that target various career paths, and so much more!
Finding Careers that Fit You
How are we supposed to know what jobs will fit our skills, personality, or life experiences if we’ve never worked a job before or have never worked a job in an industry that we feel we could be passionate about?
Job skills tests or quizzes are a great way to determine your current skills and those you need to strengthen to work in a career you’re interested in OR figure out jobs that could fit you. Let’s look at some quizzes!
Princeton Review Career Quiz
Registration to use this resource is free by registering with your email, and then you answer a series of 24 questions. The questions fall into four categories:
- Yellow: Administrative
- Blue: Planning
- Red: Expediting
- Green: Communicating
These categories will help you figure out your interests and your work style, then give you a list of recommended careers that would fit your individual personality based on your quiz results.
One of the recommended career choices I received when taking this quiz was “Business Owner,” and I had to laugh because I’ve owned my own businesses for 20 years now!
Career Girls Career Quiz
This quiz is targeted towards teen girls and offers 35 personality traits that you can check off if you feel they fit your personality. After submitting your answers, you can look over a list of possible career choices based on those answers. Apparently, my personality traits would help me be a great social worker, psychologist, or human resources manager!
Education.com Career Test
More than 1.6 million career researchers have taken this comprehensive quiz highlighting possible careers and degree choices if you’re uncertain or just want reassurance in your choice. There are 35 questions, and the categories of questions include:
- Customer Service or Service-Oriented
O*Net Interest Profiler
Based on the psychological initiative RIASEC, this quiz measures your personal interests and then lines you up with jobs or careers that fit those interests. RIASEC stands for:
CareerOneStop Skill Matcher
This is a career quiz sponsored by the US Department of Labor and helps potential job seekers explore careers, match to training opportunities, and find jobs in those fields, so it’s a helpful, one-stop shop for career searches.
Quiz takers are asked to rate themselves as a beginner, basic, skilled, advanced, or expert level in a series of 40 different job skills in multiple categories. Use this tool to find your natural gifts and talents or those you want to work on to find the best career choice for you.
Start Planning Early!
Career planning is different from searching for a job. A career is a long-term plan you create with actionable steps and a clear path for progression. You can choose a career you’re passionate about so that work doesn’t become a chore and you enjoy your work days.
As a high school student or recent graduate, planning for your career can be hard to navigate so the resources included here are great for learning about available careers, industries that have available jobs and pay well, how to negotiate salaries, finding mentors, evaluating job offers, and so much more.
Getting an early start on career planning while in high school will help you choose a great college or trade school that will set you up for starting your first job after you graduate. We recommend finding opportunities to network with people already working in the industry that can answer questions or hook you up with possible internships or apprenticeships that will give you on-the-job training.