Career Planning

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Right now, school occupies most of your time. And once you’ve finished school, you’ll probably spend more of your waking hours at work than with your family, friends or hobbies. The jobs you’ll have during your lifetime will determine more than just how much you earn. They can influence where you live, how often you move and even your choice of friends. Your career satisfaction -- or lack of it -- may also carry over into other areas of your life. You are important, your future is important, and you owe it to yourself to learn about careers and to think carefully about the choices you are making now. 

As counselors, our goal is for every student to leave GHS well-prepared to create a happy, full and satisfying future for yourselves. We are here to help you think through your plans, and we hope that you will make use of the many resources available in the Counseling Office to help you in this process. 

-Mrs. Thompson & Mrs. Szymoniak 


Relatives and friends can give you advice. Books, computers and videos can give you information. Aptitude and achievement tests can help you analyze your strengths and weaknesses. In the end, though, it’s up to you to put it all together. 

Here are some suggestions that will help you on your way:

  1. Analyze yourself. Who are you? What are your strong points? Your weak ones? How do you interact with others? What makes you special? What activities make you uncomfortable or bore you?
  2. What are your goals? What do you want your life to be like ten years from now?  Relationships: friends, family, children? Financial: what level of income will satisfy you? Motivations: what is important to you -- helping others, power, creativity, freedom? Work environment: do you like to be indoors or out, dressed up or dressed down, in a safe place or a risky one?
  3. What is your life like today? Think about both the resources that you have and the obstacles you must overcome to reach your goals. Important considerations for reaching your goals include family support, financial resources and your own willingness to put forth the effort required to reach a goal.
  4. Explore job possibilities. Make use of the resources available here at school, but don’t limit yourself to them. Visit places where people are doing the kind of work you’re considering. Try volunteer work or a part-time job to get a feel for the world of work. Take classes that will prepare you for the field you want. Talk to the adults in your life about their careers. Find out what the requirements are for various careers that you’re considering, as well as what the job prospects are in that area and how much you can expect to earn. 


It can be difficult for young people to plan for careers if you don't really know what careers are available or if you have an unrealistic idea of what careers are like. The popular media, for example, often exaggerate the glamour or drama of various jobs in a way that bears little resemblance to reality. Students at Grayling High School have access to many resources for learning about careers. A few examples include:

  • Books. You can find them in both the Media Center and the Counseling Office. One resource that is particularly interesting in the Media Center is a set of Vocational Biographies. Hundreds of careers are explored in these biographies, which profile real people doing a wide range of jobs. The Counseling Office has many titles, such as Careers for Bookworms and Other Literary Types, The Business of Art and The Everything Alternative Careers Book.
  • The Internet. There are many options here for exploring the world of work. For example, try, or
  • A Timetable for Creating Your Future. Click here to get a list of what you should do each of your four years in high school to help you plan your future.

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