What they don’t know yet, is that they are likely to change their major an average of four times, 70% of them will take longer than four years to complete their bachelor’s degree, and 40% of their freshman class won’t make it to see their finals at the end of their freshman year. What this means is an extraordinary amount of money that will be wasted and will start many of them off into the world with debt that will take them decades to payoff.
Those of us with years of experience and mistakes under our belts understand the uncertainty of choosing a career path and all of the confusion that goes with it. At about two – three years beyond high school graduation, the impact of our early career and educational choices begin to have a great impact on our lives. Our attention to media stories surrounding unemployment statistics and what career paths are current winners and losers can have anyone questioning why they choose to major in theater or history and not one of the up and coming career leaders.
As the years go by and our jobs and careers change we begin to really understand that career development is a lifelong process. If were not just merely going through the motions of life; we start to pay attention to who we are, what we like, and what skills and values are important to us. We understand that before we choose a career path we have to fully engage in the process of discovering our strengths and weaknesses. This is a process that takes time. The first step can include the use of vocational and personality assessments. While these types of tools should never be used as the road map to career bliss they can be extremely helpful in providing direction to career paths that will prove to be success.
With education costing amounts greater than one could have ever imagined, it is foolish for anyone to pursue a career without engaging in a full career development plan. Hopefully, our seniors and even those individuals way beyond their senior year of high school will appreciate what self-discovery and vocational assessments have to offer. This is just one of the many steps of successful career planning, but it is usually the one that is most skipped.
What I hope these students will gain from this assembly is not only the importance of self-discovery and career assessment tools but that career planning is a lifelong process. Anyone who truly wants to grow and be successful on many different levels comprehends that career planning is a never ending cycle.