8 Talk to people Talk to people who are knowledgeable about the career(s) you’re interested in. Talk to your counselor and to teachers who teach related subjects. If possible, talk to someone who’s working in a career field that you’re considering and ask the following questions: u What do you do on a typical day? u How did you prepare for your career? u How did you get your present job? u What qualifications and personal characteristics does someone need in order to be successful in this career? u What do you like most about your job/career? u What do you dislike about it? u What courses should I take to prepare for this career? u Is this a career field that’s growing? u Are there opportunities for advancement? u Are there any related careers I should consider? u What is the average starting pay? u Would you go into this career field again? u Do you have any advice for someone considering a career in this field? Get some related experience The best way to learn about a career is to get some firsthand experience. For example, you could take a course or get involved in a related extracurricular activity. If you want to be a musician, play in the band. If you want to be a programmer, take a computer course. Volunteering is also an excellent way to learn about a career field. If you’re considering a career in health care, volunteer at a hospital or clinic. If you’re interested in the building trades, volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. You can also get some great firsthand experience by working at a part-time job. Try to job shadow someone for a day. It’s a great way to get an idea of what it’s like to work in a specific career!