The ideal time for you to start thinking about your career is when you are in Class VIII. Students in high school have a tremendous opportunity to lay the foundation to a dream career. By taking advantage of all the resources and maximising all the opportunities, you can leverage your talents to meet future career plans. Here are top 10 tips on how to prepare for your future career, even before you reach Class X or XII.
Work on your academic records
Get your grades to shine. As a high school student, your grades speak a lot about you. They tell a prospective employer or school whether you are a diligent, hardworking, intelligent candidate. For example, if you choose to apply for higher studies in the UK, your grades will be an important factor in the admission criteria. UK Universities have entry requirements that you need to meet, which are usually in the form of grades. Some of the top academic universities in India and abroad need high grades for most courses.
Improve your subject knowledge
If you are aspiring towards joining a certain stream, hit the right mark, academically. For instance, if you plan to pursue a career as a zoologist, you should demonstrate good performance in your subjects in related areas. If you choose to go abroad for higher studies, you may need to start planning about taking relevant standardised tests such as SATs and ACTs, and English proficiency tests like TOEFL. You can even join specialised courses to build on your latent skills. These help build a strong profile looked upon favourably by both admissions officers, and potential employers.
This is the ideal time for you to build an all-round personality. Take part in various activities that are organised by your school. Whatever your interests, find a way to delve into them further. If you are passionate about foreign films, take online courses on film appreciation and volunteer with organising local film festivals. Or learn a skill that is important for achieving your goal. Example: If your goal is to become a translator, then start learning the foreign language you enjoy the most.
Sign up for summer internships
One of the most effective ways to ensure that you get hands-on experience for your desired goal is to take up a summer job or an internship. Getting an internship at a related company or organisation will not only help you explore, but will also help you cement your interest in this sector.
Follow motivational speakers
Some of the most memorable lessons in life come from stories. You will find tons of inspirational speeches online. Most of the reputed speakers offer valuable nuggets of wisdom from their personal experiences. Make it a point to read or watch at least one motivational talk a day. Make your own notes on key takeaways and keep the positivity flowing.
Network with right people
A lot of learning takes place when you network with the right kind of people. It is a great way to exchange ideas. Also, shadow influential people who inspire you. They help shape your thoughts and personality. Network with like-minded friends. Tag friends who share similar interests and organise group activities that build your profile.
Join student clubs
The best part of student life is to explore your creative and leadership talents. Don’t miss out on participating in dramas, debates, sports, art and crafts, or performing arts. You may think that these activities don’t contribute to a high-flying career, but the truth is that they lay the building blocks to organisational skills, interrelationships, leadership development, and talent management.
Read, Read, Read!
Reading opens your mind to a variety of ideas. Through books, you don’t just develop an insight, but also learn how to think in different ways. Some of the books you could include in your library are: Animal Farm by George Orwell, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Ruskin Bond’s short stories, The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, and The Odyssey by Homer.
Introspect on your future goals
What do you want to be and why? Where do you see yourself in the future? How will you get there? Once you take a step back and introspect, that will allow you to identify your goals, strengths and preferences and move forward in leaps and bounds. If you are unable to get any direction, seek a discussion with your family and loved ones. When you are exchanging thoughts and ideas, you get unique insights and different perspectives on the topic, which broadens your horizon.