By now you know that jobs/careers come in all shapes and sizes and require vastly different amounts of post-high school education. No matter what kind of work you find yourself drawn to, you’ll be more likely to land a job in that field—and succeed in it—if you don’t limit yourself to the education you get online or in the classroom. Here’s what you can do outside of school to learn more about careers (sometimes you’ll find out what you DON’T want to do) and prepare yourself for a job you’ll love:
Zero in on a job or jobs you think you might like, then find someone who has that job and spend a day or part of a day observing what they do. You can find virtual job shadowing experiences online, but there’s no substitute for being there and asking questions.
Internships (in-person and virtual)
An internship is a great opportunity to learn about a job first-hand over the course of several weeks or an entire semester. They come paid and unpaid and are available primarily to high school and college students. WorkAndLearnIndiana.com lists hundreds of internship opportunities throughout the state. Visit the site, create a free profile, then use the advanced internship search to find an internship by keyword, job category, location and other criteria. You can apply directly from the site. Remote (virtual) internships are also available. Remote internships are most common for internet-friendly jobs, such as writing, design, marketing, research and tech.
An apprenticeship might be your ticket to a high-paying, in-demand career. Apprenticeships are available in a variety of industries—construction, hospitality, cybersecurity, healthcare and many others—and generally include a paid job, work-based learning and classroom instruction that leads to a credential in your chosen industry. Apprenticeships can lead to a fulfilling career without racking up college loan debt. Talk to your school counselor about apprenticeships and visit apprenticeship.gov for more information.
Non-profits support a variety of causes, and many rely on volunteers to survive. Volunteering is a great way to help them and learn about human services and other fields. And it looks great on your resume. Learn more about volunteering at councilofnonprofits.org or find local volunteer opportunities at your local United Way or in the 2021 Giving Guide, available free at ibj.com.