One of the primary things I focus on as college prep consultant is to actually get families to stop focusing so much on college, and instead start focusing on career routes.
After all, you aren't raising your teen to be a college student, are you? You are raising them to be an adult! The goal is that they are prepared for a career path.
I've created a 4-week Career Prep Challenge, but really the process I take in there is what I would recommend for students regardless of whether they are in the challenge or not.
1. Take some personality/strengths tests
One thing this does is move the focus away from a negative (what a student doesn't know about their direction/future) to a positive (a student's natural strengths/gifts/abilities). This is motivating and encouraging, and also gives students the tools to articulate who they are better to a career professional down the road. In my challenge, I have several personality tests that I recommend (you can also check out my...
So how did I get here?
Well to start, this is not what I though I would be doing when I was in high school or college, though I still daily use the skills I acquired along the way.
I was homeschooled all the way through my high-school graduation, and was blessed to have an insider-track on college prep with a dad who was a college professor. This led to several steps that ultimately resulted in me getting paid to go to college:
1. I had a solid academic foundation
2. I had a clear picture of what career path I wanted to pursue
3. I knew the scholarship requirements early-on and set them as goals for myself in my test-prep
4. I was careful to meet the deadlines and make the right connections along the application process, and chose to go to an affordable school (even though I could have gotten into a higher-ranked college)
5. I didn't stop searching for scholarships once I got to college, but kept pursuing funding each semester
My second year of college I started tutoring...
You want to see your child succeed after high-school. You have researched and talked with friends, but there is so much conflicting college prep advice. Which exams should your high-school student take? When should they start preparing? Do you need to sign up for dual enrollment or AP tests? And how can you start preparing for college if your teen doesn't even know what he or she wants to do? What if they want to pursue a career path you don't know anything about? What then? If this sounds familiar then you are in the right place!
I was paid to go to college because I had a clear plan for a career path, and I created UniversityReady to help families be strategic in their approach to career and college preparation!
My heart is to help...
I received the following question:
"Can you recommend a good career preparedness book or youtube video?"
There are a lot of different resources I could recommend, but if I'm going to boil it down to one it would be this:
"So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport. I feel like this book is essential. I actually spend a whole week of my 4-week Career Prep Challenge based around the ideas in this book to help students build a framework around how they will approach the career pursuit decision.
So much of our focus in America is on passion. What are you passionate about, what do you enjoy, what are your interests, etc. When it comes time for teens to explore career paths those questions usually play the lions share in their decision.
Only problem with this is if most teens make their decisions based solely on what they are "passionate" about, we'll end up with the majority of the workforce being YouTube personalities, video game developers, LEGO set designers, etc....
One of the most frequent questions I get from parents is "how can I best help my teen figure out a career path?"
There are several tools that can help, but I always recommend starting with personality or strengths tests. There are a variety of options, but ultimately a personality or strengths test is a short quiz (taking anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending upon the exam) that provides a categorization of characteristic patterns of behavior that might be exhibited in different scenarios. Obviously these tests aren't flawless, and some will fit certain people better than others and all will have their strengths and weaknesses, but they are a good starting point.
I recommend all high school students to take at least one personality test in high school. There are four reasons in particular why I think this is the best route:
1. Personality tests provide insight.
Personality tests provide insight about the student that is beneficial for...
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