Exploring Occupational Opportunities
Getting Your Education
Learning to Make School Work for You
Planning for College
Getting Career Skills and Experience
Exploring Occupational Opportunities
Occupational wellness means that the way you spend most of your day gives you a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. Occupation, in the broadest sense, has to do with how you “occupy your time” — whether that is as a student, a volunteer, a job seeker, an employee, employer, self-employed person, an advocate, a spouse, a parent, or a caregiver. As a young person, your goal would be to be able to agree that the following statements are “true” or “mostly true” for you:
- I am happy with how I spend my time.
- I use my time in a way that gives me meaning and purpose.
- I make good use of my strengths and experiences in the things I am doing each week.
- My weekly activities are consistent with my values and interests.
- I control how I spend my time.
- I volunteer in the community, or have considered volunteering.
- I feel productive every week.
- I look forward to my daily and weekly activities.
- I am actively pursuing opportunities to explore and develop my skills, interests and talents.
- I am considering pathways to a career that is consistent with my values and needs.
- I am talking to people who know what it is like to work in the jobs that interest me.
Envisioning a Future Career
If you consider the total amount of time most people spend working over their lifetime, you can see how important occupational wellness and career satisfaction can be. The first step in finding a meaningful career is to reflect on your interests, values, talents and skills, and then find out about careers that need people like you!
Now that you have a better sense of your values, it is time to explore career paths! The following resources can help you find a career based on your interests, values, and skills.
California Career Zone
From California Department of Education, California Career Resource Network
The California Career Zone is a web-based career exploration system designed to help California middle school and high school students discover career options that match their interests and values. It provides easy-to-use assessment tools and offers information on over 900 California occupations.
Take a tour of the site and start exploring! Once you register for free account, you can access all the tools, save your information and come back at any point.
Assess Yourself - Find Your Strengths, Interests and Talents!
- Quick Assessment
Are you realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising or conventional?
- Skills Profiler
What skills have acquired through activities you’ve done, jobs your held, and your life experience?
- Work Importance Profiler
What’s most important to you in a job? Independence, recognition, achievement, support, relationships, or working conditions? Get a list of jobs that match your values.
Explore Job Families
Start looking at broad occupational sectors to find types of jobs in a field that you think you might enjoy.
Make Money Choices
Find out how much money you will need to pay for housing, transportation and clothes once you are out of high school, and how much different occupations pay. Develop a budget plan.
Colleges, Training and Financial Aid
Discover what education and training are required for different types of jobs, and locate schools and programs near you. Connect with online public and private financial aid resources.
Planning and Job Search Tools
Use all the built in tools that come with your free account – journal notes, class lists, job plans, and personalized reports. Use the resume builder, cover letter builder, and reference list builder to tailor your experience, skills and education to open positions. Store as many versions as you want, for as long as you want.
More Career Planning Sites
- My Next Move
What do you want to do for a living? This website will walk you through your next move, depending on whether you already know what you want to do, if you’ll know when you “see” it, or you’re not really sure.
- Learn How to Become
Do something you’ve dreamed of doing! A career is a commitment. A career is hard work. A career is your passion. Are you ready to find yours?
Four steps to college (be a pain, push yourself, find the right fit, put your hands on some cash) with lots of step-by-step help for middle school and high school students.
- Who Do You Want 2B?
Learn about 15 career pathways and the California high school and community college courses you need to get there. Check out the site’s quizzes, videos and games.
- How to Become
Click around on descriptions of hundreds of jobs from A to Z — plus advice from experts.