One of the reasons I homeschool is so that I can richly prepare my kids for life. One of most powerful preparations is a good career exploration experience.
There are 7 components of a good career exploration curriculum:
1) Seeking God’s will
God knows the plans that He has made for each of our children. Each has a place and a purpose in life. One of the loveliest things a parent can do is help a young person to grow comfortable seeking God.
2) Knowing yourself
An important task of adolescence is the discovery of identity. Teens need to explore interests, note experiences, and develop personalities. (Some fun experiences to augment this part of career exploration include: Jungian Personality Test and its Kiersey Report , Strengthsfinder 2.0. and MyNextMove.gov.)
3) Know what is important to you
If a young person wants to be a large animal veterinarian, but values lots of family time and regular hours- he will have lots of trouble. Identifying personal values like time, financial, and community involvement will help clarify good (and poor) career choices.
4) Respect your strengths and talents
God created each person with strengths and gifts- these point to vocational and avocational areas that He may want to develop.
5) Investigate some possibilities
Investigate several career possibilities. Find out educational and physical requirements, salary opportunities, and what the job market is expected to be like in the future. Some good places to look for this are: Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Occupational Outlook, and MyNextMove.
6) Try on hats
Give it a try! Do apprenticeships, shadow, volunteer, join an organization…
7) Make career exploration an intentional part of curriculum
Get it on the transcript (some states actually require it)!
Homeschoolers who include these things in their high school experience will be better prepared for life after graduation. What cool things have you done for career exploration with YOUR kids?
When I was working on my masters in counseling I was required to develop a career exploration curriculum for my homeschool population. We have been using it for years with our kids, co-op, and umbrella school. You can download both components now: the FREE starter Career Exploration Questionnaire and our easy-to-use Career Exploration Workbook.
My son #3 loves filmmaking. Through high school, he was in the homeschool cinematography club. Next he earned his AA in video production. He is currently using his interests to enhance his work toward his BA in Middle School Education (History). Here is his latest history video of one of his historical “interviews”: