1. Get to Know Yourself
There are many resources available to help students explore their personal interests, skills, values, personality, abilities and learning styles leading to a meaningful career pathway. Students should speak to their school counsellor or career practitioner to assist in exploring the many options available. In addition, students can access a variety of websites to complete self-evaluations, explore career choices, learn about various scholarships available and discover the practicalities of applying for either secondary institutions or jobs.
2. Research Careers
As you explore the many opportunities that are available, consider working conditions, skills required, opportunities for advancement, labour market forecasts and the education/training required. These will help align the expectations you have in a career with what exists.
3. Experience the World of Work
There are many opportunities to gain experience to assist in determining the right choice for you. Some ideas are: Off-Campus Education programs which includes the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP), Summer Internships, Work Experience, Green Certificate and Career Discover. Additional opportunities are Volunteer, Employment, Job Shadow and participation in Informational Interviews.
4. Explore Educational Options
When considering a career, there are many avenues to consider: college, apprenticeship, university, technical school and upgrading.
5. Decision Making
Review the information you’ve gathered. Do you need more? Have you talked to a career practitioner or a counselor? There is no “right” decision, only a “best” decision. Be sure to focus on the journey, be flexible and recognize that change is constant.
6. Plan & Take Action
Once you know your abilities, talents and values, you can establish short-term and long-term goals that will help guide you on your career pathway. There are many financial options available depending on the career pathway selected. You need to have a financial plan for post-secondary education. There are scholarships, grants and bursaries available to provide financial support.
The following resources can be used to support decision-making regarding your education and career:
Footprints to Your Future: A Guide to High School
This guide outlines the courses that are available and choices that can have a significant influence on possible post-secondary options and career choices.
Footprints to Your Future
All About U – Your Guide to Post-Secondary Education
This is a publication of the Calgary Herald Special Projects Department. It provides advice, tips and information on how to choose a university and how to decide on a career.
All About U
Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS)
The Alberta Learning Information Service provides current information on career planning, education programs, occupational profiles and scholarship information.
Government of Alberta: Trade Secrets
Trade Secrets explains apprenticeships, the various trades available, certification requirements and the availability of grants and scholarships.
Calgary Youth Employment Centre
The City of Calgary Youth Employment Centre (YEC) provides free career and employment support to youth ages 15–24. Their complimentary support includes resume, job search, interview and networking assistance.