Choosing a career can be a difficult decision. During the 4 years that you are in high school, your mind can change a lot because, chances are, your interests are numerous and varied.
One of the most beneficial ways to expand your interests and explore your options in a particular field is to talk to those who have worked, or who are currently working in that area. Your opinion might change for the better, or for the worse, but it is important to get information on the inner workings of a career before you really make up your mind.
The Journalism class and the Newspaper Club recently took a field trip to the Bergen Record, a local newspaper that specializes in reporting on events happening within Bergen County as well as on other big events in the New York Metropolitan area. We got the chance to speak to reporters in order to learn more about a field some of us may not have been so familiar with. A few of us even got to sit in on a news meeting, a meeting with people in high positions from the newspaper staff who talk every morning about current events, previous issues, and future issues as well. This gave many of us further insight into the journalistic field. Talking to those who are currently working in a job you are curious about can really help make your career choice that much easier, and your path that much clearer.
While you may not be able to access people in your career of interest through school, like the newspaper and journalism students did, there are certainly other ways to explore your interest. A few of the greatest resources to take advantage of are the ones at home! Asking aunts and uncles and friends of the family can be extremely beneficial to you. If you know your uncle is an attorney, ask him about his job, what he likes, what he finds the most challenging, and why he chose it. Seeing the actual environment in which he works is less important – you really want to understand the job, not the location. Striking up conversations with older people, who aren’t family members, you see around town can also help get an insight into their daily lives, and you also can refine those vital communication skills while doing so.
Some of the most important pieces of advice that the journalists gave us during the field trip aren’t solely applicable to journalism. They are universally useful because they require basic skills needed in all jobs. The advice invites you to be quick and precise, and calls for you not to hold anything back when you are on the job. It also requires that you use your people skills, actually talking in person instead of over email, so that you can really get to know the person you’re talking to.
While high school may seem like a premature time to be thinking about a profession, it is never too early to express interest in a certain field. As a student, your world can open up to you if you just talk to people, engage in conversation with them and ask them sincere questions. You’ll find that people will be more willing to help if you’re respectful and hardworking, qualities that just so happen to be relevant to the work place. You don’t have to decide on a definite career right now, but it is a good idea to keep an open mind and to take advantage of resources available to you to find out more about your options.