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What is a Career?

A career develops over a lifetime and is made up of many work and life experiences. In the days when your parents and grandparents attended school, a high school education was considered to be enough for many people to find a life-long career. In those days, many people left school to go to work. Times have changed! Today, young people can expect to change career paths a number of times over a lifetime. What you learn in high school is an important foundation for a lifelong learning process that will guide you throughout your career journey.


What is Career Planning?


Career Planning is an ongoing process of learning what you are cut out for by:

exploring your values, interests, skills, abilities, etc.

exploring different occupations and industries,

exploring different learning options, making an informed decision when setting a career goal, and developing SMART plans to achieve each career goal.


Step 1: What are you cut out for?

This is where you should start with your career development.

You've got choices. Choices that you need to make about your life and career. To make these choices you need information and know how to use it. Some people know exactly what they want from life while others may have some idea and still others who have no idea.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my interests? (Data, people, things)
  • How do I like to work? (Preferences)
  • What are my skills/strengths? (Abilities)
  • What's important to me? (Values)

If you can answer these questions, that's great. If you're not sure or don't know, perhaps you should explore this further. On the links below, there are a number of short 'quizzes' that might help. Try them! They might give you some ideas. Just remember that these are only 'computer quizzes'. They might give you some ideas but it's always best to discuss the results with someone who knows about career development. Talk with your parents, Career Development Teacher, Guidance Counsellor, Career Resource Assistant or someone else who may be able to help.

* These forms provide a good starting point on your journey of self-discovery.



Step 2: What is out there for you?

Now that you have a good sense of what you are cut out for, you're ready to explore what's out there. Whether you are considering continuing on with post-secondary studies, finding work or becoming an entrepreneur, you will need to learn more about the world of work.

Why is labour market information (LMI) important?

Knowledge is power! To increase the amount of freedom and control you have over your career life, you need to understand some things about occupations, industries and the economy. Then you'll be in a position to make wise decisions about:

  • occupations that are the best fit for you
  • current job opportunities
  • future job opportunities

The following four websites are a good place to start learning more about what's out there for you, now and into the future.



Step 3: What career path will you take?

Now that you've learned more about your likes, dislikes, skills, abilities, values and other personal things and how they fit with different occupations you may feel prepared to choose a career path.

Are you availing of opportunities to further develop your skills and test your fit with potential occupations and industries? Are you aware of the different options available to assist you? Whether you are in Level I, II or III, or are considering leaving school, you can work on developing your career today.

Many career and employment programs are designed specifically to provide you with opportunities to learn more about yourself through life/work experience. Hands-on experience is a great way for you to:

  • Learn more about your abilities, values and interests.
  • Identify and develop your life/work skills.
  • Learn from experienced mentors.
  • Network with other people with similar interests.
  • Confirm whether or not a particular path is a good fit for you.

Skills Development and Learning Programs for Youth

  1. Provincial 
  2. National 
  3. International 

Community Service

When you volunteer, you gain skills and knowledge that may help you get paid work. You also develop qualities useful in all workplaces: punctuality, dependability, working in teams and the ability to handle pressure. Everyone needs practice in decision making, problem solving and leadership!



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