Title Card - Career Advice For Younger Me

#SIWIKE: Career Advice For Younger Me

Everyone thinks that they know everything when they are in the early years of high school. Sure, you do your schoolwork, you go to class, and you do what is expected of you, but school was just a thing you did because you had to at that point, and most of the time your career was just really an afterthought. These formative years are highly important for developing social skills and making friends, and a lot of the time this sort of thing is the majority of what you would want to do. Yes, high school can be very fun, with a wide variety of activities and clubs available, dedicated lunch periods for everyone at the same time, and the option for seniors to coordinate their spare periods with their friends so they could hang out together.

The problem is, there seems to be far too little focus in the high school years on finding out how you would like to build your career. If you went to high school in Canada while I was in school, you took a Careers class in Grade 10 that only takes place for half a semester. The other half of the semester is taken up by Civics, and the class itself didn’t really go in-depth on much of anything. Quizzes, activities, fun little exercises, and all while in a classroom setting with a bunch of your peers at the same time. Determining your career is such a personal thing that it feels impossible to have a classroom full of students come to a logical conclusion while being taught with group activities.

Your last two years of high school especially are a very critical time for learning where you are going. Think about it, you need certain classes as prerequisites to get into certain university or college programs. Speaking of college and university, in your first year you are choosing a specialization for a bachelor’s degree, for me being the still-young age of 18. This is a huge decision for where you are going in the rest of your life, and figuring out what you want to do can help you get ahead of the curve and graduate with something that is meaningful to you in a reasonable amount of time.

Because I came into university with only a vague idea of something I might want to do, I struggled really badly in my first few years. I didn’t have the drive to do the work, and it felt like a chore. This should have been an indicator to me right away that the program I was in was not for me, but I was also struggling with the transition between high school and university socially. Like many other people of that age, I wasn’t properly prepared, and I just decided to go with the flow, prioritizing my comfort over everything else.

If I could speak to my younger self, I would tell them that it is paramount that you start taking your career seriously in Grade 10, as it is really the launching point where you start figuring yourself out as a human being. Go to guidance counselors. Talk to your parents. See what interests you in the world, because high school is the time to experiment. It’s the time to grow and discover yourself so you are prepared when you finally go to university.

I do want to make one thing clear: it is PERFECTLY OKAY if you make a mistake in university and discover that your original path was not what you wanted. The good news though, if you did that work in high school, chances are you aren’t far off from what you’re actually looking for. Always keep digging, do your soul searching, find out who you really are.

The sooner you can find out, the sooner you will be on track to your dream career.