Middle School Career Exploration 2

Course Overview

Units at a glance

It may seem pretty early for you to be thinking about a career, but now is actually the perfect time to start considering what you want your future to look like. You’re old enough to know what you like and don’t like, to have a good idea of what you’re good at, and to have seen enough different people working at different kinds of jobs that you can start creating a roadmap for your future. The rst steps? Figuring out what you are good at, determining what makes you the most excited, and nding the kinds of careers that combine your talents and passions.

One of the most impressive uncharted territories to explore is your own future. You’ve spent some time thinking about different careers, your own strengths, and maybe even thinking about what you want to do as a career. But once you have an idea of where you want to go, how do you get there? If you’re taking a road trip, what do you do? You probably turn on your GPS and let Siri guide you to your destination. Sadly, life doesn’t have a Siri quite yet, and the route you need to take to get to the future you want is going to be one you create on your own. How can you create that roadmap? How can you know what your destination will be and what pit stops you’ll need to make along the way? Goal setting and action plans will be your roadmap to your future, and you’re in control of it.

Wait—workplace skills? How can I have workplace skills before I even know what career I want to go into? That might be what you’re thinking, and it makes sense. Usually when people think about the skills they’ll need to get a job, they think about the technical skills they might need to learn in order to do the job they want. But more and more, employers are looking for a combination of skills that are less about the job and more about the person behind those really technical skills that you’ll need to get the job done. If that seems like bad news, think again. These workplace skills are the kind you can develop now—and you’ll learn how!

Once you’ve learned more about who you are and what you like to do, it’s time to start thinking about how that information translates into a career. Remember that your career should re ect your personality and your interests, while also providing for your needs. The next step on your road to nding a career is to take a look at a snapshot of what careers in the areas that you’re interested in might look like. Since it’s probably not possible to follow around people in all of
the career clusters that we’ve learned about, you will get a glimpse into a day in the life of some diverse and interesting careers from each of the six career elds. We’ll start with an overview of some of the fastest growing jobs and industries, as well as careers in agriculture, engineering and technology, and business.

Your goal? Pay attention not just to what people do, but also to how you feel when you read about their jobs and to the other opportunities in that career eld. No one knows you better than you do! While it may be a little early to know exactly what job you’ll be looking for in ten years or so, you can start to explore the direction you want to pursue!

Are you excited about the future? You should be! You’re getting a chance to imagine what you want your life to be. You’ll learn how to turn those visions into step-by-step realities. But rst, let’s dive into the careers that focus on people: serving them, entertaining them, and healing them. Keep paying attention to what excites you, what interests you, and what you’re curious to learn more about—because those are signs that you might just have found the right career eld for you!

Experience—it’s a word that can be scary. It’s especially scary when it’s time to nd a job. But if you’re smart, and plan ahead, you can nd amazing opportunities to get experience. You may even be able to get experience in several different career clusters to see which one you like best. How can you do that AND stay on target with your coursework? You’ll learn how to make the most of your time and get a head start on the career you want. It might even be fun!

If you want the job, you need to be quali ed for it. What does that mean? It means that, if you want to build houses, you need to know how to use the tools, read the blueprints, and understand the safety codes. If you want to cure cancer, you need to know how the human body works, how cancer cells work, and how the tools you’ll use in the lab will help you answer questions. In short, you need speci c training so that you can do any skilled job well. But what kind of training do you need? To help you answer that question, you’ll learn about the different educational options you have. You’ll also learn about the questions you need to ask yourself in order to make the right decisions for your future.

At the end of the path of discovering what you love, setting goals, and getting training and experience is your nal goal:
a career you love. But going from being ready for a career to actually having the job is a process in itself. How do you nd the jobs that are best for you? How do you know that you’re the right person for that job? When you nd that job, how can you show that you’re the best person for the it? How can you take your excitement, enthusiasm, con dence, and experience and show it to the hiring manager and ask them to take a chance on you? You’ll need to understand the job market, learn to strategically read a job post, create a resume and cover letter that stand out, and impress interviewers with your con dence. It’s time to put all of those skills and years of training to the test. It’s time to get the job you love!

Course Highlights

Identify your strengths and passions and discover what careers will fit your talents.
Explore several career clusters, trending jobs, and growing industries.
Build workplace skills including leadership skills, organizational skills, and interpersonal skills.
Investigate options for further study and training.

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