Find a Career for Me!

Blue Splash CAP Career

  If you are young, you are far richer than the wealthiest person on earth because you have “time ," and good "health".   You cannot buy or sell  either one of these.  Consider the concept of   “time" for a moment.  Imagine your life in one week increments rather than years. What kinds of decisions will you make this week that will affect the rest of your life? Will you use your time wisely, or will you waste it? Why is it important to think about a career, or even retirement at this time in your life? Why is it important to make decisions now?

As you can see, a career is a big part of your life, and  a plan, or a goal is worth thinking about now.  One of the first things people asks about a job is “ How much money can I make?”  If money is an overriding factor in your career decision, the 820 US Occupations and their Wages (2013) Bureau of Labor Statistics (Chart by Vox) is an excellent place to start.  If you have a particular career in mind, and are interested in more specific financial details, the following link will be very helpful.  Salary and Benefit 

Many think they might win the lottery, and they will be taken care of for life. The following calculator, shows that saving $3.00 a day can be a substantial savings over a 4 year period.  Use the sliding calculator to find out how much 20 years will give you?  Want to be a millionaire by 55 years of age?  Click here! 

 Small decisions add up.  Doing your homework and turning it in on time, attending school each day, learning to get along with others, and making career decisions now, all add up  to big consequences later in life.

Choosing a career will happen by choice or chance. A chosen career will involve a conscious effort to plan and map out your career path. The links on this page offer you the  opportunity to choose a career based on data, and concrete information. Take control of your career life.  Don’t depend on luck or chance decisions.

 The following formula gives you an overall step by step structure for achieving your career goals:

1. Self examination

2. Discover career options (Choose 40 or more)

3. Narrow your career choices (Narrow these to about 10)

4. Research facts and information about the 10

5.  Narrow your career choices to about 3 you are serious about

6. Contact 3 people who are in your career choices

7. Interview the 3 with a pre set of questions based on information and facts you have learned

8. Ask these 3 people about Job Shadowing, Volunteering, Apprenticeships, and Networking

7. Make a decision and narrow your choice down to one of these 3

8. Plan and set goals for your future (College, additional schooling, Military, etc.)

9. Consult your counselor for more information (Financial or other information)

How can you determine the occupation that should be right for you?  This question may seem like an easy one to answerhowever; it is one of the most difficult, and challenging problems you may ever face in your life.  One decision could determine the next 40 plus years of your life and "The more education you receive, the more money you are likely to earn?"  (Bureau of Labor Statistics)   


The Facts Are In The Details


An Analogy

If you were offered $10,000, how would you spend it? Do you truthfully believe you could invest it wisely? How would your values affect your buying decisions? Where would you spend your money? Can you visualize yourself spending it on that new car? Would you put it in the bank for your future educational expenses? What would you do to get the most benefit and enjoyment from your money?

5 Woodpecker-Modified.jpeg

If you compare the next 40 years is like that $10,000, how you spend your time? How will you invest in your future?  Four years of high school will prepare you for college, career college, military service, apprenticeship, or the work world.  

Your career decision is a serious one that is 4 years in its development. The end of high school is not the end; it is your first beginning. The end of your college years, vocational training, military service or the start of your OJT (on the job training) is the beginning of the next 40 to 50 years of your life. How will you spend it wisely?

1.    Start With Self Evaluation

Reading  -Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 1.32.26 PM

It  is important to assess your skills,work values, and interests, but exactly what do these assessments mean? The University of Kent has a very interesting self assessment for finding out how to choose a career that is right for you. The site iSeek has outstanding tools for examining your skill assessments based on the data from the Occupational Information Network.  Learn more about yourself with these assessments.  Try the "Who am I?"(from Virginia Career View) tool kit and discover who you could become.  After completing at least one of these evaluations, an excellent way to see your future is to visualize yourself in your future career. If you are still not sure where to start, the following sections may help you with career choices.

If you are deciding to choose a career, solve it as thought it is a problem with the possibility of many solutions. Ask friends, guardians or other people in your life, how they solved this problem. You could take the Keirsey Personality Temperament Sorter  for assessing whether you are a Guardian, an Idealist, an Artisan, or a Rationalist. (These are all explained on the site.)  

If you know the exact career you are interested in pursuing, the following site can match careers skills, previous experience and interests.  MySkills My Future

Testing and Preparation    An excellent testing site is "Varsity Tutors". There are tests for the ACT, EMT, GED,GMAT, CLEP, CMA, College (Chemistry, Physics,Science), EMR, GRE, High School (Math, Biology, etc.), HSPT.ISEE, LSAT, MCAT,NCLEX, PALS, Pre-Algebra, Precalculus, SAT, SSAT, Trigonometry, and many more not mentioned here. (The tests are free, but the tutoring cost $$$.)

2.  Career Options 

          Career Choices:    Your career search begins by discovering your options.  Make a random list of  40 or more potential career choices.  One suggested site for finding this information is O*net Online.   All "career cluster choices" and "information " are alphabetically listed. Imagine being in a Candy store where you could pick and choose any of the candy you would like to buy.  You are now in a career store where you can pick any career that you would like to do for the rest of your life.  

   College:    Search for a college of your choice on American School Search or Peterson’s. Explore your college choice by selecting from the following categories: Test scores and selectivity, type of school, Location, campus and housing, majors and learning environment, sports and activities, Academic Credit, Paying, Support Services, or diversity.  If you are in the 9th grade, and you took your summers to search for you life career, would it be worth it to search for 9 months to decide what you will do for the next 40 years of your life?  You have a Big Future, if you search now.  Most colleges require entrance testing. Here is a great tool for testing your knowledge, and improving your scores. (beta) If you are in question as to whether you should go to college or to a technical/vocational school the following advice is from a site that is about nursing, but the advice can be generalized to any person  who is deciding between college and vocational /technical school. College-bound.  

There are Top Notch Universities that offer courses  online.   If you have very little money or cannot physically attend college right now, try these accredited online collegesThe following is a list from Wikipedia of “Online Colleges” in the United States.  Or, apply for Grants at . Additional sources of college help with expenses can be found on  Textbook Revolution,  a student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free educational materials by teachers and professors. We want to get these materials into classrooms. On this site you'll find links and reviews of textbooks and select educational resources. Some of the books are PDF files, others are viewable online as e-books, or some are simply web sites containing course or multimedia content.  Before taking out a student loan, do some calculations with the “Undergraduate Student Loan Calculator”. 

construction 1.jpg

    Technical and Vocational:      Perhaps you are thinking of a technical and vocational approach to your future. Here is a site that may help you to decide.  Another informative site is the Federal Trade Commission. You may want to study for one, two, or three years, and then go right out into the job market.  "Vocational Information Center" is another excellent source of information. All avenues of scholarship and financial planning are similar  to the planning you would do for a regular four year college. Hundreds of videos for technical and vocational Jobs can be found on Skills One TV.    Many careers in the Technical and Vocational area require certification. The following site gives excellent details for the requirements necessary for job certifications. 

      Military:    Considering more options?  The military offers outstanding career choices.  The military offers combat positions as well as civilian career versions that could later translate into a civilian job. "Many military specialties give service members experience in human resource management, office administration, maintenance, data entry, and computer software engineering."  If you are interested in a military career and faster advancement check out the military schools.  The National Guard may offer you a chance to learn job skills, get paid and go to college at the same time.

      Merchant Marine:  “…The US Merchant Marine consists of privately owned  US registered merchant ships and a variety of towing, offshore supply, and passenger vessels which provide waterborne transportation for passengers and cargoes moving in domestic and international commerce…"

Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy  Mid Atlantic Maritime Academy in Norfolk, VA provides maritime training for Basic Safety Training (BST), Able Bodied Seaman (AB), Designated Duty Engineer (DDE), Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (VPDSD), Vessel Security Officer (VSO), and all Qualified Member of the Engineering Department (QMED) courses. We are USCG approved to teach over 95 Deck and Engineering courses to meet the needs of merchant mariners everywhere. There is no better place to go to in the United States for your MARITIME TRAINING than the Mid Atlantic Maritime Academy in Norfolk, Virginia!

       GED: General Educational Development:  Or you may just choose to get your GED.   Entry Level Jobs  This web site holds thousands upon thousands of avenues for aspiring workers to find entry-level employment. With the click of a mouse, job hunters can access employment opportunities in a myriad of industries, including fast food, retail, administration, restaurant, and delivery.  GED  information by State, subject, overview, practice tests and much more: Test Guide

       Civil Service  Why work for the government?   Many things should be taken into account when you are planning for a career in civil service.  Career Planning: Qualifications and Requirements for Civil Service Jobs is an excellent article about these considerations.

                   Federal Government:  People often say jobs are difficult to find, but the Department of State has "intern" positions just waiting for qualified students.  You might find a specific career on the site United States Federal jobs and  set your career goals now.  

                     State Government:  Why consider careers in local government?    State and local careers are very rewarding. (Check out the drop down boxes in the upper left corner of  this site.)

                     Benefits:     What are the benefits of a civil service career?

3.  Narrow Your Choice

Let's assume you chose these careers because you thought it might be interesting, or you just like the title of the career, or you knew a person who is in that particular career. These 50 careers now represent what you think you want.  Narrow these 50 careers down to 10 careers that you would really like to do for a living. 

4.  Research Facts and Information

          Video and Audio Career Help  Carer Audio Podcast  presents an excellent audio account of the process for finding a career that is best for you.  Video clips are another way to experience the job market. The following sites may give you A different perspective on what is available to you: " Roadtrip Nation ," "JobsMadeReal,"  CareerOneStop Videos, and Real Life 101.

"Virginia Career View" is an informative and comprehensive career information site.  It empowers  people with disabilities, explores Virginia's college communities, provides a "Who am I?" toolkit, and much more. Virginia View  is for children grades k-5, grades 6-8, parents, and professionals. 

If you're not interested in going to college, perhaps the technical and vocational schools are the right path for you.  Career Colleges 

Other Photos from the Internet 006.jpg

          Detailed Career Research    Research these ten choices in great detail and, narrows your choices down to three or four.  Your evaluation should consider such things as salary, job benefits, working conditions, health plans, career knowledge, skills needed, your abilities, work duties, and activities, working conditions, work demographics, education and schools available, finances available, interests, work values, and related occupations. In addition to the links in the previous paragraphs, and the next few paragraphs use this great search engine for additional information: Census Reporter     

 Here are some links to guide you with your in-depth research The O'Net site is a great place to start.  The three categories are: "Career Clusters," "Data Descriptor Search " and "Crosswalk Search," " My Next Move ".     

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is an excellent guide from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for finding the highest paying, fastest growing,  and  new jobs in an ever expanding market. CareerOneStop not only lets you browse, and find career information, but it informs you of job locations, cost of living, scholarships, financial aid, health plans and benefits, employment trends, licensed and certification occupations, and green careers. You can use these career tools to get more information, as well as compare occupational salaries.  More career information can be accessed on the CAP site.

          General Research With Search Engines  If you want to just search on your own, try the following career search engines: ABC Search Engine If you already know or have worked in a profession, here is a site called " My Skills, My Future " that finds career matches, and existing jobs.

5.  Contact People Who Are In Your Career Choices

After you have researched your three careers, it is recommended that you contact and interview someone in each one of your potential careers.   If you go into an interview with no preparation, your question might have been one like this: "What kind of money do you make?" Now that you have completed your research, your question may be something like this: "I understand you can make between $50,000 and $75,000 in this field.  What kind of salary can I expect in this area, and what part of the country or the world is the best place to live in for advancement in this career?” Make up original questions for your interviews from the facts and research you have conducted, or follow 40 Informative Interview Questions as a guide for your questions. 

Contact other people who could influence or help you in your career.  Consider going to a local college to experience college life. Talk to the registrar, and ask about attending a class in progress, or talk to a professor who teaches a class related to your interests. If this is not an option, visit a college campus online by taking a "virtual visit" to "Campus Tours".  Experience “JobsMadeReal" for videos about many career opportunities.

6.  Job Shadowing, Internships  Volunteering, Apprenticeships, and Networking

i 2012011021222812.jpg

After the interview, you try  Job Shadowing for the company you just interviewed, or try an online job shadow This would give you an invaluable experience of  on-the-job training, and the chance to use networking skills. Internships are relatively new to the U. S., but they are an excellent way to introduce you to the work world.

An  Apprenticeship  is another way to get experience and an understanding of what is involved in a career of your choice. (Also check apprenticeships on the CAP Center)

Volunteering is an excellent way to discover yourself, and opportunities. An organization such as Global Volunteers will not only give you actual experience; it will have a very positive  contribution to your college application or career resume form. View this essay by Cassi Kay to see an example of this. If you want to set similar goals The Peace Corps offers  volunteer programs that may be the right fit for you.  Get your feet wet with Wet Feet.

Projects, Networking, and Google News Alerts

Possibly for extra credit, and with your teachers' approval, you could contact one of your teachers, and suggest extra credit for the following  "Project " found on the CAP Center site.  Print out the forms  from the "Project," and give them to your teacher. 

Finally, you can create Google Alerts. Google alerts will continue to search for  your search query for as long as  you want it to, and it will email you whenever it finds something new on the Internet.

Networking  Essentially, networking is getting to know people who can help you develop your career prospects”.

7.  Time for the Decision

document- med

After all of your research and interviews, you are now ready to make your decision.  Visualize yourself in your future career.  Dream and imagine yourself in each of your future career choices.  What does it feel like?  Imagine yourself doing, and becoming that person.  What would your friends and family think of this career?  Are the people in your chosen career, the kind of people you want to be around for the rest of your life?  If the answers to most of these questions are "yes", then you will know: this is the right career for you.

8.  Plan - Additional Education

Things  You Should Consider In Your Planning

decorative-curves-by-peilep med

Compare "community colleges", as well as colleges and universities What do they cost ?  Compare loans and financial plans 529 plansExplore SallieMae Student Loans, find scholarships and don't overlook scholarships for related costs?  (A scholarships link is, and all of it services are free.) More scholarships and scholarship information can be found on the CAP Center

 Campus Explorer gives a timeline according to your grade level, and excellent  tools, such as calculators, essay tips and samples, and college rankings.  If you want to get started in your general planning, "College Planning Calendars" is a great place to start.  If you want to create your own timeline for the career path you have chosen, then  "Resume Timeline Career Path PowerPoint Templatemay be a good format for your planning.  Using an outline format, a free online editor such as Google or Microsoft, is a marvelous tool for listing the steps you need to achieve your goals.  Another outstanding choice is Wise Mapping, an online mind mapping program.

9. Contact Your Counselor, Advisor, or Family Member for Advice

CAP-Bird-Page 1

 After you have taken the assessment tests, and researched some of the careers that are available to you, bring these results to your counselor because they may have additional information that is not available to you. With the excellent work and research you have put into finding your career, the counselor may give you more ideas you have not even thought about.


After Graduation    


     SCAD  The University for Creative Careers  Offering more degree programs and specializations than any other art and design university, SCAD is uniquely qualified to prepare talented students for professional, creative careers.

     Full Sail   Full Sail University offers campus and online degree programs that are designed for the world of entertainment and media. Offering associate’s, bachelor’s, and master's degrees, Full Sail's approach is centered on real-world industry experience

Headhunters Versus Career Counselors:   This is a very interesting article that discusses the difference between a headhunter and a career counselor. It is important to know the difference between these two  because you are at a critical stage in the process of getting a good job. You  may be very vulnerable to scams by headhunters. 

Career Special Interests and Searches

GlassDoor  Search Jobs, company reviews, Salaries and much more.

College Insider at Cappex Blackog   This is your place to find the college that you want. It’s the place to discover new colleges and scholarships, compare your top choices and make the decisions that give you peace of mind.

Become a Nurse  Online RN to BSN Programs  If you are interested in a nursing career, this site has the best  up-to-date information  on the Internet. According to this site, “We’ve formulated a list of the top RN to BSN nursing programs in the country based on several key factors.”  If you are already a nurse the “Nursing Journals” contain vital information about what is going on in this field.   If you are not  sure what type of a nurse who would like to be, the following link will help you “Find the right nursing degree for you.”  In a nursing career, there is no limit. The pathway to a college education and beyond is at your fingertips. If you’re a college-bound student, here are the guidelines for attaining whatever goals you set for yourself. College-bound.

Economic Check Up  Finding Work; Cut Spending; Reducing Debt; Using Home Equity.

Resume Surgeon   In the current careers climate, competition for jobs is fierce than ever before. Applications for some roles can run into the hundreds, sometimes thousands, so if your resume does not capture the employer’s imagination, you can forget any chance of landing the job.

College Aftermath   When the best 4 years of your life is over!

After College   Where your career begins.   Here at the AfterCollege Blog, our goal is pretty simple: to help college students and recent grads figure out what they might like to do with their lives and how to make that happen. So we were pretty excited when we heard about Katherine Schwarzenegger’s book, I Just Graduated… Now What? (out April 1, 2014, on Crown Archetype).

Joh Hunt   A guide to smarter job hunting!  This is the biggest mistake people make. No idea what they really want to do — they just want a job, any job! That lack of focus makes a job search so much more difficult! Exponentially more difficult!  Directory

IPad App Or on the Web —  "Job Aware"  JobAware is fully accessible from any web browser and automatically syncs job tracking, search history and LinkedIn jobs between devices.

All Job Search is the most powerful and comprehensive job search engine that amalgamates all jobs from many resource in one place to make the online job search much easier. This site searches everywhere, including thousands of popular job sites, professional sites, employers sites, newspapers and newsgroups in real time.

Free Job Applications Online  Job Application  |  My Job Apps  |  Job Application Center


Who Thinks About Retirement?

An interesting scenario for your career path could be the following career formula: 

During your high school years, select a vocational curriculum that would also have  a goal of going to college. This would give you a foundation for an actual career, and if you decide to go to college, it would give you a skill that would enable you to pay for your college education. Many students go to college, and when they graduate are strapped with the burden of a hefty student loan to pay back. Normally students graduate high school  when they are 18 or 19 years old.

 After you have graduated from college, about age 24, join the military.  If  you want to save yourself even more time and money,  finish your college while you are in service, and you have the added benefit of having a skill that you are already trained for, when you enter the service. Your age at this point should be about 40 to 45 years of age.

Upon completing military service, apply for civil service. Stay in civil service for the next 20 years of your career life, and then retire.  If you have followed this pathway, you should be between 60 to 65  years of age.

Finally, choose an avocation that would involve one or more of your hobbies, because you have the option to do anything that you would like to do.

It is extremely difficult to think in these terms when you are starting out in life, however, if by some fate or fortune you take this advice, remember, you will at some point reflect back on your life, and say this is what I should’ve done, or I am glad I did it this way.


Odds n Ends

Teens On The Job   YouthRules! is an initiative to promote positive and safe work experiences for teens by distributing information about young workers to youth, parents, employers and educators. Components of the initiative include a website, printed materials, outreach events, training seminars and partnering activities.

Logistics   You probably also believe that one of the keys to happiness is earning a good living doing something you love. And if that’s the case, then it is time to look into a career in logistics. So check out our guide where you’ll find information from more than 80 trusted resources on everything kids want and need to know about the exciting field of logistics.

Entry Level Jobs  This web site holds thousands upon thousands of avenues for aspiring workers to find entry-level employment. With the click of a mouse, job hunters can access employment opportunities in a myriad of industries, including fast food, retail, administration, restaurant, and delivery.

Non-Profit Careers      Find nonprofit careers and new opportunities with the Philanthropy Journal's nonprofit job search engine. Search nonprofit job openings by state or category.

YearUp  Millions of young adults in the US have talent and motivation, but lack opportunity. At the same time, companies have opportunities available, but lack the talent they need to succeed.

Job Search and Job Match    For more comprehensive assessments, skills testing and links to online resources and courses, National Council on Aging also offers the NCOA JobSource system.

Alma  -  A career for the future.  

If you know the exact career you are interested in pursuing, the following site can match careers skills, previous experience and interests.  MySkills My Future

Careers for students in grade 6 - 8   This is a marvelously for students. It has information about careers, games, videos and a great deal more.

Degree Directory   The Answers Project has responded to thousands of questions from education seekers just like you. Led by our professional team of educators and researchers, every answer we publish is accurate, unbiased and peer-reviewed.   If you can’t find the answer you're looking for, send your question to our team @degreedir.

Careers Related to Subjects

Science | Careers |

Math Related Careers   |    We Use Math

History Related Careers    

English Major Related Careers    

Music Related Careers    

Stem Related Career Opportunities   

Health Related Occupations     



Engineering and architecture (Occupational Outlook handbook)


Possibly for extra credit, and with your teachers' approval, you could contact one of your teachers, and suggest extra credit for the following  "Project " found on the CAP Center site.  Print out the forms  from the "Project," and give them to your teacher. 


Copyright @ 2014  by  Thomas A Wilsonian

© Thomas Wilson 2016