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Why I Ditched My School’s Career Advice and Found My Real Passion

jake-r

Guest Post by Jake R, Minnesota  

Ever feel like your school's career advice is stuck in the 20th century? Trust me, you're not alone. If you're itching to find your real passion and a job that won't bore you to tears, keep reading. I ditched the one-size-fits-all guidance from school and found something way better. And let me tell you, it's a game-changer.

I know we've all got a lot on our plates, especially when it comes to thinking about life after high school. I mean, the pressure is real, right? That's why I've got to tell you about this amazing experience I had with this program called Careers That Matter. Now, if you haven't heard of it, it's this 10-week online program that's all about guiding teens like us into careers that not only align with our interests but also have a lasting impact. And before you ask, it's not your typical career counseling setup; it's a whole new level.

Now, why did I even look for something outside of school? Well, here's the thing: My school offers career counseling, and maybe yours does too. But it always felt like they were just going through the motions. Check a box, attend a session, and that's it. Careers That Matter flipped that whole scenario upside down. I accidentally stumbled across their Free Career Quiz and then joined the 10-week program from there. From the first week, they started asking these deep questions that got me really thinking. Not just "What job do you want?" but more like "What kind of impact do you want to make in the world?"

Before joining this program, I had my mind set on becoming a game designer. But Careers That Matter got me to dig deeper into the 'why' behind my interests. Turns out, what really excites me isn't just gaming but how people interact with technology as a whole. It wasn't just about the games; it was about creating experiences.

As the weeks went by, I discovered aspects of myself I didn't even know existed. The program uses various exercises and case studies to get you to unlock what they call your "superpower"—that unique skill or talent that sets you apart. For me, it was realizing I have this ability to understand human behavior, which opened a whole new world of possibilities.

By week five, the program had shifted from just exploring careers to exploring "future-proof" careers, ones that will stick around no matter how much the world changes. Things like AI ethics, Human-Computer Interaction, and other tech-focused roles started popping up on my radar. By the sixth week, I had a list of 10 careers that felt like they were genuinely tailored to me.

By the time I got to the later weeks of the program, I was fully into the nitty-gritty—job shadowing, internships, facing potential challenges, and all that jazz. And it wasn't just me who had these lightbulb moments. My friend Emily switched from wanting to be a lawyer to becoming a Sustainable Development Consultant. And Jay, who's a math genius, is now considering Data Analytics in the Renewable Energy sector.

So where did I land after all this? Well, I've set my sights on becoming a User Experience Designer for Assistive Technologies. What's that, you ask? It's a job focused on designing tech solutions that make life easier for people with disabilities. It combines my love for tech with my newfound understanding of human behavior, and honestly, I can't think of anything more fulfilling.

Before I wrap this up, I've got to mention a few extra perks of the program. There are interactive live workshops, video recaps if you miss a session, and weekly challenges that really test your skills. Plus, the chance to connect with other teens around the globe going through the same career questions is pretty priceless.

So, bottom line—would I recommend Careers That Matter? A hundred percent, yes. If you're tired of generic career advice and you're ready to dive into something that's going to set you up for a fulfilling future, this program is for you. I've never felt this motivated and this clear about my path, and I bet you'll feel the same. 

You can join the program at www.careersthatmatter.org

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Careers That Matter provides online programs to teenagers across the globe. The organisation is based in Melbourne Australia. We have students from across Australia including Sydney, NSW 2000, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Perth, WA 6000, Adelaide, SA 5000, Hobart, TAS 7000, Canberra, ACT 2600, Darwin, NT 0800. We also take students from The United Kingdom including London, Europe, and the United States including New York , Canada, New Zealand including Auckkland and Wellington, and Asia including Singapore and Malaysia.