As students map out their futures, a path of supported self-discovery can help increase the odds that they find college and career success.

Why self-discovery increases college and career success

As students map out their futures, a path of supported self-discovery can help increase the odds that they find postsecondary success

What do you want to be when you grow up? As we get older, the answer often changes from highly visible and glamorous endeavors, such as being an actor or a rockstar, to something more useful and meaningful to us personally.

Determining a great career path, however, isn’t always easy and is more often than not inhibited by a lack of exposure to career options and awareness of our own natural abilities. Yet, in order to secure the right educational pathway, students are asked to make a decision as early as high school and sometimes even middle school. 

Statistics show that over the course of a person’s lifetime, they will work an average of 90,000 hours. That’s a lot of time. Time that, if not mapped out properly, can be costly and less than satisfying. So how does a high school-aged student choose a career path at such a young age? What are the steps students need to take to pick a fulfilling profession? 

Let’s take a look at a few proven ways to help. 

Defining Success and Determining How to Achieve It

One of the first things students should do is make it deeply personal – this is more than just thinking about likes or dislikes (those often change rapidly when we’re young). It is about discovering what is deep within them – their natural aptitudes. It is about learning more about their inherent talents and interests and determining what success actually looks and feels like for them personally. By exploring their inherent aptitudes and interests, we can better help students explore careers they may never have considered before, and open up whole new worlds of possibility and opportunity.

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