Plan My Future


So, what comes next? I mean, you're doing the high school thing, and you've got that down and all .... but what's next? What happens after high school? Even if you think you know what lies ahead in your future, wouldn't it be great to know you have some options? And wouldn't it be even better if you knew what those options were? You can; you just have to take a LEAP. LEAP is an acronym that stands for LEARN about yourself, EXPLORE your options, ASSESS your "fit" and PLAN your next steps. The future can seem overwhelming; but it doesn't have to be.

Below are just some of the many resources available to you that can help you start thinking about what's next NOW. Start with the downloadable LEAP document. It will help you begin to start answering the right questions, and give you a little perspective on the process of career-planning process.

LEAP

LEAP doesn't mean you have jump all at once. In fact, it's the opposite. It's reallyabout putting one foot in front of the other and taking small, actionable steps to help you as you work through your career-planning journey. When finished, you'll be able to look back and see just how far you've come.

To start, download this one page LEAP into Career Success document. It will help you ask yourself several key questions necessary as you begin the process. Take some time to reflect on them. You can even write down your responses to review later.

Once finished, continue below to explore each of the 4 LEAP components and learn what actionable steps you can take to help you find some career clarity.

My Next Move

LEARN about yourself

What it means: Essentially, you're trying to answer the questions “Who am I really,” and “What makes me tick”.
What you can do about it: After reflecting and answering the questions on the LEAP sheet, ask close family members or friends to see what things they’ve observed in you (your interests, what you’re good at, etc.). Do they match up? You can also take a free personality test to better understand yourself and how you operate. And, definitelycomplete a career inventory here or check out mynextmove.org

EXPLORE your options

What it means: At this point, you need to check some things out; do a little “test run” to find out what interests you most.
What you can do about it: Regardless of whether you go to a 4-year university or take a job right out of high school, there’s nothing worse than spending valuable time (and money, in the case of college) learning to do something you don’t even like doing! Now is the time to try things out. Take advantage of job shadow opportunities. Get an internship. You can even volunteer a little time to explore possible career options. Of course, you’re at the right site for that. Check out the Career Readiness Programs section on this page to find out all the ways you can explore.

Work Values

ASSESS your “fit”

What it means: Now you neeedd to refine your option.  Organize them; weigh the pros and cons of each.
What you can do about it: Of course, you can do whatever you put your mind to. But, is it the right fit for you? Do they align with your work values? Yep, all your earlier questioning has just produced more questions. But have no fear. Go back to mynextmove.org and review the Educational Requirements and Job Outlook sections of each of the careers you showed interest in. Which ones provide the most job growth and opportunity? Also, check out the following sites to help you determine what your true work values are (123test.com and careeronestop.org).

 

Overgrad

Job Genius

PLAN your next steps

What it means: So, what do you really need to do to make your plans a reality and not just dreams?
What you can do about it: You have been building out an EDP (Educational Development Plan) for the past several years, right? You know, Career Cruising, Naviance or some other software used to explore your career interests. If not, where have you been? An EDP may be one of the most powerful allies you have in planning your next steps, rolling many of the resources above into one tool. From high school course planning, to continuing education help and applications, to career exploration, your EDP tool likely offers all of it. And, you can access this tool with your login & password anywhere, anytime! Talk to your counselor if you need to find out your EDP vendor and login info. If your school doesn't currently support one, check out Overgrad, a FREE EDP resource. Finally, get yourself career-ready by creating a quality resume, learning and practicing interviewing tips and developing the soft skills employers are looking for. Take a look at the Job Genius section for these resources and more. Take these steps and you’re well on your way to being career-ready.

Of course, there are several other resources you can use to help you on your career quest. Check out each of the sites below. Have a site you've used that others might benefit from as well? Pass it along using the Contact Us page.

teens for teens

This website is designed by teens for teens. They hope to create a resource that will help students be successful now and in their futures.

You can find information about volunteer opportunities, job leads, and other ways ways to engage in the community around you. 

Volunteer Match Are you looking for ways to positively impact the world around you while simultaneously gaining valuable life and work experiences? Volunteering is an awesome way to knock out these two important goals at one time. This website will help you find causes that match your interests so you can start making a difference RIGHT NOW.
 
Citrus College supported the production of “Success in the New Economy” to help a broader audience begin to understand preparation today for tomorrow’s labor market realities. The end result is a compelling case for students to explore career choices early, make informed decisions when declaring their college education goal, and to consider technical skill acquisition, real-world application and academics (career technical programs) in tandem with a classic education. This balanced approach to life and learning results in a well-educated and employed workforce.