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updated 8.19.14
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Alabama FOCUS
Career Planning and
Decision-Making

Your Child Can Do It!

It is very important for you to understand that education and training after high school are possible. The key to continuing education and training is preparing academically and financially in advance.

Starting today, you and your child should learn as much as possible about what it takes to go to college, vocational/technical schools or other training schools, or to join the military after high school. Your child should begin thinking about which career path he/she wants to pursue and start taking classes as early as the eighth grade to prepare for his/her career choice.

Money alone no longer prevents anyone from pursuing and/or obtaining a higher education. The major obstacle is lack of knowledge--not knowing about academic and financial options.

Your Role is Important!

Every year in school is important. Each year, properly achieved, lays a solid foundation for learning the next year. Parents play an important role in the success of their children from kindergarten through high school. This role is enhanced when parents provide a good learning and study environment in the home. Parents also assist by encouraging children to do their best, promoting good study habits, and beginning early to discover ways to finance the education and training of their children after high school.

Career Exploration Includes...

Choosing a career is a lengthy process, and we suggest that you help your child conduct self-exploration and career-exploration to understand himself or herself and any future career better.

  • An evaluation of personal strengths and weaknesses
  • An assessment of performance in academic subjects

The career-exploration method your child decides to use depends on the information sources available and the jobs he/she wants to explore. Here are some strategies you and your child may consider:

  • Ask in the library or counseling office about books or pamphlets on careers.
  • Talk with a counselor as you develop and explore options.
  • Visit a place where people are doing the kind of work your child is considering.
  • Talk to someone working in a career which interests your child. Most people welcome a chance to talk about their work, and your school counselor can often give leads on people to contact. To get the most out of talking with someone, prepare some questions in advance.
  • Encourage your child to try out a hobby, part-time job, or volunteer work that will help him/her learn about a specific career.
  • Encourage your child to take classes related to the career he/she likes or that will help prepare your child for that career.

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