Career Tips For Teens 2: Exploring Your Interests

Let’s face it; you are going to spend a large part of your life working. Why not find something you love to do? Chances are, you’ll be happier and more successful at your job – no matter what your chosen occupation is. One of the best ways to figure out the careers you would like to research further is to first research yourself.

Ask yourself, what is it that you love to do?
Right now, you most likely spend the majority of your time at school. Your favorite part about school might be seeing your friends, but what about your favorite subjects? Make a list of those, and look at them closely. What is it about those classes you like most? What do they have in common? Is it a common subject area?

Missed CAREER TIPS FOR TEENS 1? Click on this sentence to catch up on that!

You can also look at your schoolwork in terms of the type of work you were required to do for these subjects. If you enjoyed solving algebra problems more than writing a paper about Shakespeare, that’s important. Maybe this is a clue that you might be better suited for jobs where problem-solving are a daily task.
Looking at what you prefer in general is beneficial, too. If you like to be around others most of the time, a job where you come into contact with people on a regular basis might be more satisfying. While this doesn’t narrow down your choices a lot, it will rule out several occupations where you work alone. If you like to investigate and come up with new ways of doing things, you might consider jobs that involve computers or research (or both). If you are a hobbyist who likes to work with tools and your hands, you may have an aptitude for several careers in the skilled trades, where your work is visible and tangible.
Finally, remember that what you are good at and what you like to do are two separate things.
Identifying Your Skills
Everyone has skills. In fact, everyone has hundreds of skills and each one can be related in some way to one or more occupations. Without ever having had a job, without ever having been trained for a job, you are qualified to perform literally hundreds of types of jobs.
Skills gained from volunteer work, hobbies, education, and other life experiences are just as important as those skills gained from paid work or internships. Does playing sports or video games have anything to do with work? Well, you gain eye-hand coordination, you reason, and you make quick decisions. Those abilities can be related to a number of different jobs.
Occupational Characteristics
Another step in the process of career exploration is to connect the information about you – your interests your values, your skills, your preferences – to the information about careers, such as work conditions, job duties and responsibilities, work environments, industry areas and more.
Often specific characteristics of occupations may enhance or limit their desirability. For instance, if you prefer working in a city, at night, and indoors, then perhaps a career in hotel management or entertainment is a possibility.
If, however, you prefer working outside, traveling, and working with tools, a career as an accountant, psychology professor, or executive secretary may not be as appealing.

Going by what we’ve shared today, how would you describe your ideal work environment? Outdoors? Flexible work hours? Strict deadlines? Casual dress culture? Share with us.

Next Up On Teens’ Lifestyle: Career Tips For Teens 3. Don’t forget to tell your friends about this Career Series! Catch ya!

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