How to Plan Out Your Career Path While Still in High School

Are you curious about what careers are out there and whether a high school diploma will make you qualify for them? Are you struggling to decide on a career path and feeling overwhelmed by all your choices?

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many people find themselves in this situation, especially during their high school years. But don’t panic – there is a solution.

In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips on how to plan out your career path while still in high school. So, whether you’re just starting to think about your future or have already decided on a career, we hope this post will be helpful for you. Keep reading for helpful advice!

How Do I Plan My Career as a High School Student?

There are many ways you can decide on a career path while still in high school. Here are steps to plan your career as a high school student:

Step 1: Start with an assessment of your skills

When exploring careers, it’s important to be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. Try taking a career planning quiz or reading through some assessments to figure out what kind of work you would enjoy most.

These resources can help give you an idea of the major areas in which you might be interested (e.g., sales, marketing, consulting, etc.).

Step 2: Find information on professions that interest you

Once you’ve completed any self-assessments that are available to you, do some research into specific careers that sound interesting.

There are various ways to find out more about the types of work people do in different jobs – for example:

  • Talking to friends and family who work in different industries can help you find out what they like (and dislike) about their jobs;
  • Reading articles on the Internet is another good way to learn more;
  • Talking to counselors, teachers, or parents can also be helpful.

STEP 3: Find common characteristics of different careers

After exploring some professions that interest you, it’s important to analyze them by reading through lists of ‘typical duties’ or ‘essential skills.’

Here are some examples:

  • You might find that certain career paths have a lot of similar tasks – for example, customer service representatives often handle communication with customers via phone calls and emails.

If this sounds interesting, then it might be worth considering further.

  • If you find that many of the career paths, you’re interested in revolve around helping people by explaining information, giving advice, and solving problems, then public speaking could be a good option for you.

This skill set is valuable across many different job roles and careers (e.g., sales jobs).

STEP 4: Use your research to make a shortlist of possible career options

Once you’ve looked at lists of typical duties and essential skills for each profession, try using this information to create a shortlist of ‘possible’ careers.

At this stage, it’s important to avoid eliminating any professions from your list just because they don’t seem like what you might traditionally think of as a ‘great job.’

Remember that there are no bad careers, just different types of work that might not be right for you.

STEP 5: Consider the possible pathways to get from where you are now to your dream job

Still in high school? Even if you don’t know exactly what kind of career path you’d like to take yet, there are still steps you can take to make it easier to get there later on.

You should do some research into:

  • The qualifications and training required for each profession; this will give you an idea of what type of post-secondary education (if any) is needed to qualify for a particular career;
  • How long it takes people who already have the skills and experience required by your potential career paths to get hired or promoted; and
  • How you can gain the relevant skills and experience that will help you reach your career goals.

Once you’ve gone through this exercise, it will be easier to identify which jobs – among those that interest you – are realistic options for someone in your position.

 STEP 6: Connect with peers who share similar interests and develop your professional networks

What Is My Career Path?


The best way to explore careers is by talking to people who are already doing that job or have recently started working in the field.

For example, you could approach someone at the company where your mom works and ask if they’d be willing to speak with you about their work.

You may even find out that there’s an internship available that would allow you to gain extra experience and make a positive impression on those who matter most – potential employers!

STEP 7: Take stock of your skills and interests

Once you’ve completed this exercise, it will be easier to identify some strategies for reaching your goals.

If some of the professions on your list require extensive training before getting started, then perhaps it’s best not to pursue these options right away?

Or maybe there are ways to gain relevant experience without going back to school – for example, by taking on a part-time job or volunteering in order to build your resume and enhance your professional networks.

STEP 8: Think about what’s most important to you and pick a career that meets these requirements

You should have many career paths to consider by this point in the process!

When it comes time to make your final decision, think carefully about what is most important for you, personally.

Once you identify what matters most, then you can start comparing different professions against each other rather than weighing everything equally. For instance, if long hours don’t appeal at all, then “Sales Clerk” might not be the best option for you.

STEP 9: Reach out and get started on your new career path

Once you’ve realized what is most important to you in a job, then the final step in the process is to find a way to get started!

If there’s no way for you to go straight from high school into your chosen profession, don’t panic!

There are many ways to build experience and skills before entering the workforce full-time. Volunteering or working part-time can help ensure that you’ll be more attractive to employers when you’re ready for that next step.

STEP 10: Continue to update your education and skills as you work throughout your lifetime

Remember that the process of discovering and achieving your career goals doesn’t end at graduation. Personal and professional development is an ongoing process, and it’s one that we should approach with curiosity, confidence, and a sense of adventure!

Career Pathways for High School Students

There are many different career pathways for high school students that could lead to various careers. These career pathways include following certain areas of education or training, such as by enrolling in vocational schools, starting at community colleges, continuing studies through bachelor’s degrees through colleges and universities, joining the military for specific job training, taking courses offered by high schools, professional associations or corporations (that may also offer certifications), or getting trained on the job.

What Types of Jobs Can Result from These Career Pathways?

Career Guide for High School Students


Each type of educational pathway can lead to various types of jobs.

These jobs range widely depending on the specific profession but could include careers like a physician, engineer, architect, accountant, teacher, nurse, movie director, journalist, lawyer, administrator, pharmacist, scientist, social worker, artist, and police officer.

How Do You Stay Motivated During the Career Planning Process?

It can be challenging to stay motivated during any process, but it is more challenging when you’re working toward a goal like a career planning which may take weeks or even months to complete.

But what you need in order to stay motivated is a plan with specific goals and the knowledge of how each step contributes toward your final goals and provides milestones along the journey.

A good plan will break down and prioritize tasks based on their importance and contribution toward achieving your goals. This way, you’ll know exactly what steps to take next in order to stay on track and achieve success.

By focusing on one day at a time, following your plan, and rewarding yourself for every milestone achieved, staying motivated should be a piece of cake.

What Are Some Common Mistakes High School Students Make Regarding Career Planning?

The most common career planning mistakes high school students make are not starting early enough, procrastinating when faced with a difficult decision or task, and wasting too much time on options that are unlikely to lead to success.

These mistakes can be prevented by implementing a successful plan before jumping into the job search process, avoiding distractions when it comes to crunch time, and taking every opportunity that seems right for you to increase your chances of success.

Final Thoughts

Planning your career path can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By starting early and taking things one step at a time, you can create a roadmap that will help you reach your goals.

If you’re still in high school and aren’t sure where to start, contact High School of America today. We specialize in helping students just like you figure out their next steps and plan for a successful future. With our help, you’ll be on your way to the career of your dreams!