The question a high school graduate hears often on graduation day is, “So, what’s next?” It's a simple question with a not-so-simple answer, one that's smart to consider long before commencement! Students have many avenues to explore after graduation, and most require long-range planning and preparation.
Take some time to research your desired career and ask yourself:
What type of training/education is required? Research the requirements needed for your career.Does it require a Bachelor’s degree, an Associate's degree, or some other form of training/certification?Look up current job listings to see what qualifications an employer would like the candidate to possess but are not necessarily required for the position.Having that desired certification or experience may give you an edge over other job candidates.
Does it pay well enough to live comfortably? While it is important to enjoy what you do for a living, it is as equally important that you select a career that will support you financially.Salary should not be the only reason you pick a career, but it should be a factor.
How competitive is the industry in that career field?
How tough will the competition be (the number of job candidates applying for the same position)?Will you be 1 of 300 equally qualified applicants applying for a single position or 1 in 10?Research your career’s industry for growth potential.For example, the technology industry is constantly changing and expanding with thousands of new positions every year while the number of game testers hired by Nintendo stays the same – a ratio of 1 position for every 10,000 applicants.
Will this career offer stability? Not all industries are considered stable.Some, the mortgage industry for example, fluctuate between very busy and not busy at all.Take this into consideration when researching a career, especially if the position is commission-based.
Does this position require a certain lifestyle? Not all careers revolve around a 9-5, Monday-Friday work schedule.Doctors, nurses and other medical staff sometimes work overnight shifts and holidays.Radio personalities tend to move from area to area as positions become available.Sales and marketing reps are sometimes required to travel frequently.When researching a career’s requirements, ask yourself, “Will I be able to handle this part of the job? And will I enjoy it?” For instance, if the career in question requires frequent long-distance travel and you don't like flying in a plane, it may not be the career for you.