“What do you want to be when you grow up?” A question we ask kids starting at a young age, and up until they graduate high school, but many cannot answer with certainty. Some simply reply by listing jobs they are familiar with from their parents, relatives, or those they see portrayed on TV and in the community. This is common, as deciding what to do after high school is one of life’s most important decisions and can be very stressful. At the same time, others have more confidence in answering this question and have known what they want to do “when they grow up” from a young age. However, we sometimes glamourize our “dream” careers or do not fully understand the work it takes to get there.
For those students who have no idea how or where to start their career exploration, and even those who think they have life all figured out but may realize they actually don’t, we are here to tell you, it’s OK! Our team has all changed our minds throughout our careers; we have hit roadblocks and taken many detours. We hear this story repeated by many professionals we work within our community. Yet, our winding roads got us to where we are now, and we are fortunate to share both our personal and professional experiences as we help students find their best fit and begin to plan for life after high school. The SIEC Team is here and ready to help get you started on your career journey.
The first step to choosing any career is exploring your options, and we cannot stress the importance of starting this exploration process while you are in school and have resources available. Not only do you have your family and teachers to help you, but you also have our team cheering you along the way. Just participate in one of our events, and you will see firsthand that you all matter to us, and we will do whatever it takes to help you out! Now, you do not have to believe us, but when we get feedback from students telling us, “the SIEC programming changed my life, it let me try out stuff that I would have never got the opportunity too, and there is no way I would be where I am without the SIEC,” we get pretty excited.
The SIEC offers diverse programming that focuses on all different industries to help you discover your skills, find your passion, and hopefully choose a career path. Our programming aims to expose students to careers they may never have known existed, provide insight into what a day in the life looks like in many industries, and even highlight the post-secondary pathways available. So be brave, step out of your comfort zone and sign up for a Spotlight on Careers event or apply for a Boot Camp. You never know what you might discover! We once had a student attend our Spotlight on Nursing event, thinking she wanted to pursue a nursing career. However, minutes into the event, she fainted when she saw a nurse draw blood. This was a disappointing day for her. However, she realized nursing was not her destined career path and still had time to change her mind while in high school. Thus, we believe it is just as important for students to understand what they do not want to do before spending time, energy, and money pursuing a career that does not make them happy.
Our goal is not merely to expose you to different career paths, but also to provide opportunities for real-life experience while still in high school. Take a chance, apply for the Summer Youth Internship Program. We will even help you with your resume and prep you for your interview.
We love watching students develop skills and self-confidence through our programs. When we hear stories like this, we know the work we do with students is worth it:
“I already knew I wanted to be an electrician, and the Summer Youth Internship Program was a good way to get a head start into the trades. The interview process prepared us for the real world. This experience definitely made the transition from high school to the workforce easier. Because of the Summer Youth Internship Program, I have finished my electrical apprenticeship and have received my journeyperson status.”
Not only did this student get a cool summer job, but he also started on their career journey while still in high school.
Still not convinced you to need to start thinking about life after high school. The perfect job might be something that you have never heard of…yet! But without taking the time to explore your options, you may miss out. Your future is unwritten, and the possibilities are endless. Tomorrow’s happiness and success will depend in part on the planning and work you do today with your future in mind.
The SIEC Team is always here and excited to help get you started on your career journey!