Chapter 4 Exploring Careers“We should not let our fears hold usback from pursuing our hopes.”-John F. Kennedy
The difference between a job and a career • Job – Work a person does for pay that does not require much training, knowledge, or experience. • Career – A person’s life work, which requires planning, preparation, interest, and time. • Sometimes jobs lead to careers. • Entry-level – A “stepping stone” or a beginning job that will take you on a path to your ultimate career.
Fun Facts! According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average person will have at least 7 jobs before age 30! It is projected that many people will change jobs 10 to 12 times – and might change careers as many as 3 times before retirement. Approach these job changes with a positive attitude.
Using Informal Research One way to explore careers is through informal research, which is learning about careers through a casual and friendly approach. This research can include observing people where you go to school, family, neighbors, or people you don’t know at all. When you are making arrangements for informal research, you are networking, or talking to people you know and others in your community to gather and share information.
Discovering Careers ThroughFormal Research Through formal research, which involves using tools and information to investigate facts, you can discover even more information about jobs and careers. As you begin your formal research, it is important for you to know that all careers have been grouped in categories called career clusters. A career cluster is a group of occupations having related interests.
Career Clusters Career clusters include nearly all occupations from entry level to professional level (high-level careers that require earning a particular degree.) Although slightly different career cluster systems are available, the Guide for Occupational Exploration, groups related occupations into 14 career clusters.
Fourteen Career Interest Areas Career Cluster Jobs Related to Cluster Arts, Entertainment, Actor/actress, coa and Media ch, illustrator, writer Anthropologist, ch Science,Math, emist, computer and Engineering programmer, veteri narian
Plants and Animals Agriculture scientist, forester, la ndscaper, wildlife biologist Law,Law Correctional Enforcement, and officer, detective, Public Safety park ranger, special agent Mechanics,Installer s, and Repairers Aircraft mechanic, commu nication equipment installer, medical equipment repairer
Construction, Minin Bricklayer, electrici g, and Drilling an, pipe fitter, sheet metal worker Airline pilot, freight Transportation inspector, traffic technician, transpo rtation manager Bakery Industrial worker, electronics Production tester, testing- machine operator
Business Detail Administrative assistant, legal secretary, library assistant Sales and Advertising Marketing agent, public relations specialist, real Recreation, Travel, estate sales agent and Other Personal Convention Services planner, personal aide, social director
Education and Caseworker, clergy Social Service member, teacher, urban planner General Accountant, financ Management and ial Support manager, human resource manager, purchasi ng agent Medicaland Audiologist, health Health Services educator, medical assistant, recreatio nal therapist
Occupational OutlookHandbook The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) provides information about 250 occupations. The Department of Labor (DOL) updates it frequently online. Using the OOH, you can learn about what workers do, how much they are paid, future job prospects, and working conditions. You can also learn about educational and training requirements, advancement (getting more responsibility and authority), and job trends.
O*NET Database The O*NET database is a government sponsored computer program that collects information from workers about their jobs. People can compare occupations and find out about skill changes now and in the future.
Using other Career InformationSources The information at the OOH and O*NET websites is also printed in books. The Guide for Occupational Exploration (GOE) gives definitions and explanations of each of 14 different career interest areas. There are many career publications, magazines, and other online sources of career information.
Learning about Careers Hands-on experiences – actually spending time on work sites – provides a realistic way to explore and research careers. Employers like to hire people who already have some experience in the workplace.
Career Shadowing Career shadowing is observing a worker and asking questions for a day or less in a field of work you find interesting. For instance, a student interested in becoming a lawyer could spend a day with a lawyer, following her around the office, observing what she does in courtroom as part of her everyday work schedule, and asking appropriate questions.
Part-time work Part-time work is working a few hours each week over months or years. It gives you an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills as well as earn money to prepare for the future.
Temporary work Temporary work is agreeing to work full- time or part-time for only a few weeks or months. It gives you a chance to gain skills and earn money for a limited time. Some examples include summer jobs, such as detasseling corn or working at an amusement park.
Internships Internships are opportunities to work in an industry through a school-related program to gain skills and experience, usually without pay. Internships are one of the most valuable experiences you can have as you explore career opportunities. Many employers hire their interns as employees.
Cooperative Education Cooperative education programs offer students opportunities to go to school and work for pay at the same time. Typically, they spend part of the day at school and part of the day on the job. I.C.E. (Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education) is an example of a program offered in many high schools.
Volunteering Volunteering is working without pay. You might choose to volunteer because you strongly believe in a cause. Check out local hospitals, nursing homes, veterinary offices, schools, and food pantries for volunteering opportunities. In many schools and communities, students have the opportunity to participate in service learning (doing community service as part of a classroom assignment) programs.
Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship is creating your own job. You may have started as an entrepreneur at a young age, did you set up your own lemonade stand? If you are a creative person with self- motivation, you can be quite successful in operating your own business.
Recording Info. AboutPotential Careers The following questions provide you with a guide as you research and record information about different occupations. What skills are needed to perform this career? What is the work environment (the surroundings) like? What values and lifestyles best match this career? What is the projected job outlook for this career?