Feb. 11, 2002
If you're not sure what you really want to do with your life's work just yet, don't worry. You're not alone. Ask your mom or dad what they knew about their futures when they were 18 years old. Chances are they didn't have a solid idea either.
One of the great advantages of going to college is having the opportunity to discover who you really are. Obviously, you don't have to go to college to find that out. College, however, is a special place that allows you to experience a wonderfully diverse set of classmates, teachers, classes, and events. If you're going to a four-year college, you'll also have the advantage of being in that stimulating environment from age 18 to 22, a very formative period of your life.
There are several ways you can explore your attitudes and preferences while still in high school, though. One way is to find someone who can lead you through an assessment process called the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is a psychological instrument administered and interpreted by qualified professionals. The purpose of the MBTI is to measure your preferences about life and determine the way you like to live. It measures various aspects of your temperament and personality such as how you direct the energy of your life, how you take in information about the world around you, how you make decisions, and how you structure your life.
The end result of the MBTI is a set of numbers and letters that tells you which one of four main temperaments and 16 personality types you are. With this information, then, you can access information that will tell you what kinds of jobs would most likely bring you success and happiness in life. Your school psychologist should know how you could take the MBTI.
Another assessment tool is Strong's Interest Inventory which measures various aspects of your interests in life. The result is various reports that tell you about which types of professions would be well suited for you. Both Strong's Inventory and the MBTI can be a big help in answering your questions about what kinds of careers you may wish to pursue. Check with your guidance counselor for more information.
One last thought. Even if you go to college without a clue as to what you want to do, relax. Take advantage of the services offered by your academic advisor. He or she will give you good advice. Ask hard questions. Persist. Remember, when you have a question, don't hesitate to get the answer.
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