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Career Development is a Lifelong Process.

Ask some small children what they want to be when they grow up. Most likely, their answers will cluster around a few well-known occupations - teacher, firefighter, veterinarian or doctor. Then ask their parents what jobs they have and the answers will be quite varied, including many jobs that children (and most high school and college students) have never heard of.

In the Career Profile Project, when students interview adults about their jobs, they find that the majority didn't know when they were in high school that they would be in their current careers. (SEE ANSWERS).

Career development is a lifelong process that begins in the earliest years and continues throughout high school and beyond During high school, it is important to explore your general interests, find out what skills and credentials are important in those career areas, and begin to build skills and credentials that will open doors to the careers you are interested in. As you build your career, you should always be assessing your skills and interests and looking at how you can build additional skills and credentials to take advantage of current opportunities.

Career Development is Best Done with Other People.

You can start exploring careers through books, magazines and software, but ultimately the best source of information is other people. There are many aspects of the workplace that are hard to capture on paper - such as the latest trends in an industry, new and emerging job titles, and the real atmosphere of the workplace. Talk with your parents, neighbors and friends, supervisors, job shadow hosts and others to find out about their careers. Get first-hand experience through volunteer work and jobs and internships. Ask questions and observe to find out all that you can.

The Job Market is Always Changing.

The workplace will change dramatically during the decades to come. Trends in technology, manufacturing, health care and business will reshape jobs and job titles in the twenty-first century, just as the past few decades have seen many changes. To be well-prepared for the job market:

For more information about the Career Profile Project and other career exploration resources, contact The Skills Library at

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Career Profile Project

Use the Career Profile Interview to interview teachers, supervisors, job shadow hosts, mentors, parents, friends and others about their careers. This is a very effective way of gathering 'real life' information about careers. Over the past few years, The Skills Library has used this inventory in workshops, career fairs, business expos and mentoring programs. The questions on this worksheet are excellent for opening up conversation about careers. And, as answers are entered into this website, we will build an interesting database of career ideas and insights. A paper copy of the Career Profile Interview can be printed out in PDF format - or enter answers directly into the online worksheet.