By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Published: 2017-10-06 12:16
Published: 2017-10-06 12:16
Carol Wood

You are likely now thinking about the many career choices there are to explore. It can be overwhelming, but it is important that you do not lose sight of your dreams and goals.

If you have the determination to reach your goals and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices and investments of energy and time, you have increased the odds that you will reach your career dreams. If you are not quite sure what career path to take, following is a list of reasons people choose and enjoy certain careers over others.

Select the three items that are most important to you on this list.

o Working with others in a team
o Working alone
o Working outdoors
o Being your own boss
o Receiving longer vacations
o Having flexible work hours
o Fixing or repairing things
o Creating or developing new things
o Working with computers and technology
o Working at a job requiring physical strength
o Helping people or animals
o Playing a sport
o Entertaining others
o Traveling
o Selling things
o Helping people solve their problems
o Playing a musical instrumentor singing
o Building things

Your high school counseling center likely has a career interest inventory which you can take and narrow the choices better for you. Once you have determined a few career areas which interest you, you can then begin to explore which form of post-secondary education is most appropriate; a vocational / technical degree, 2-year Associate degree, 4-year Bachelor degree, Master or Doctoral program. Be mindful that not all careers require a 4-year or beyond degree program. In fact, some of the most rewarding and financially beneficial careers can be attained after completing a vocational or technical training program. In Atlanta, we are fortunate to have many quality technical colleges which offer a variety of programs.

Relative to beginning your career, it is important that you begin now to develop job skills and personal traits which employers view as very important and which will set you apart from other job candidates. 

Following are a few character traits to consider developing:

Interpersonal skills – Be able to get along well with others and show respect to your managers and colleagues.
Reliability – Show that you are a dependable person. Complete tasks on time. Abide by the philosophy, “If you see it, you own it.” In other words, when you see something that needs to be done, do it!
Honesty – Demonstrate that you are trustworthy by being honest and earn each hour of the salary you are being paid. Do not tend to personal matters or use technology gadgets and cell phones during business hours or your supervisor will lose trust in you. Doing so is the same as stealing from the company with which you work! 
Work habits – Be consistently responsible, on time, and diligent, and when your responsibilities have been completed for the day, find new projects or ways to help the company become even better serving of its customers.
Communication skills - Be able to write and speak effectively and clearly. Think before you speak and be mindful of what you say and how you say things to avoid being misinterpreted.
Application abilities – Be able to apply knowledge to practical situations. Develop good problem-solving abilities and be able to think critically. Think outside the box!
Positive attitude – Be optimistic toward your job and employer. If you are not pleased with something on the job, always have a solution to offer when voicing your concern. Find things about the company and customers you serve that are good and voice this when appropriate.
Persistence – Be able to keep your efforts going even when the work environment or people are challenging. Maintain a “can do” attitude.
Flexible – Be able to shift tasks easily. Be available to work extra hours and on other tasks than customary when asked.
Resourceful – Know when and where to find the answer or ask for assistance after you have attempted to locate the answers yourself. Do not interrupt your manager or coworkers for answers if the questions can be answered on your own with a little effort.

For additional recommendations regarding your high school, college and career path, contact me to arrange for a College Admissions Process & Scholarship consultation! 

Carol Wood is the Founder & CEO of Total Learning Concepts. Visit www.totallearningconcepts.com or call 770-381-5958 for information about their tutorial and test preparation services and accredited non-traditional private school.