Insider Insights: Career Exploration for High School Students

In this video, Menlo Coaching’s Director of College Admissions, Jason Milan, sits down for a virtual conversation with Lisa Noble, an expert in career exploration and outcomes for students. Lisa is the Director of Employer Engagement and Entrepreneurship at Colby College, and a longtime mentor to young people going through moments of big change in their work and life. Lisa takes us through her unique insights on how a high school senior or junior can begin to explore career interests related to their potential major and post-college plans . 

An interview with career and college outcomes expert Lisa Noble

Lisa drops so many actionable nuggets of wisdom in this interview, but several major points stand out. Here are nine key takeaways that motivated students graduating high school should take note of and put into practice:

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Career Exploration Exercises

Lisa has been generous enough to share several high-impact exercises that she’s developed over her years of helping young graduates in their career exploration. You can jump right in and do these on your own in order to begin making smarter decisions about how to use your free time—and how you can go about finding and pursuing your own career interests.

Exercise 1: Love/Hate Analysis

Career and Self-Discovery Exercise 1

In this exercise, you should take the time to conduct a “love/hate” analysis on activities that you find consistently engaging (contrasted with those activities that deplete you). This approach to identifying your passions will help you down the road as you compare potential careers and the daily tasks you’d be undertaking in a given role.

Exercise #2: Career Planning to Find Fulfillment

Career and Self-Discovery Exercise 2

How would you define what matters most to you? With a list of the factors that would most contribute to your personal fulfillment, it will be far easier to evaluate career options in the long- and short-term.

Exercise 3: Career Interests, Personal Interests

Career and Self-Discovery Exercise 3

There’s an expression by Mark Twain you may have heard: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” For high school students just beginning the process of exploring careers, this advice comes at the perfect moment. If you take the time to determine what kinds of problems you’d like to work on now, you’ll be able to spend your years in college working towards a career path that is not only viable, but that will make you happy.

You can download a full PDF of the exercises here.

Psst, — this is just the first in a series of interviews on career planning with Lisa! If you found it helpful, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel or sign up for our mailing list so you can be alerted when the next one comes out.