A note to high school students

10 July 2015

Sometimes when I’m alone with my thoughts, I look back on my younger years (not that I’m *that* old, heh) and remember what it was like. Sleepovers and staying up all night with my friends thinking what the future would be like, not minding any real responsibilities aside from homework and school projects, and patiently waiting for classes to be suspended due to inclement weather are just some of my favorite parts of high school.

My senior high school class
St. Augustine of San Jose Academy Batch 2002 – 2003
Now that I am older and dealing with “real world” requirements and inconveniences like taxes, traffic jams, and pressure to succeed, I look back on my younger self and thank her that she was able to ascertain what she wanted to do at that age and was able to follow through in spite of the delay.

As some of my long-time readers know, I let go of a relatively easy but high-paying job to pursue what I really wanted to do almost three years ago. Even if we don’t factor in the pay-cut I took, it was still not an easy choice to make as that job served as my security blanket for more than five years before I decided it was time to really grow up and make a career out of something I love doing.

I guess things really do have a way of working out in the end because even with less than three years in the industry under my belt, I have already been promoted twice and am experiencing things a small-town girl like me wouldn’t have thought possible.

I belong in a demanding and grueling industry but I go to work every day excited for all the things I would be doing, people I would be meeting, and tasks I would be ticking off my list. The cliché that tells about doing something you love and not have to work for the rest of your life rings true to me, and I could only hope the same for you, too. Dragging yourself to work every day is not a good feeling; it sucks you dry until you become devoid of excitement and enthusiasm so if you are currently under this funk, I do hope you get out of it ASAP.

And that, kids, is why it’s important to know early on what you would like to do when you grow up and join the workforce. The job market has gotten ultra-competitive in the past few years and I’m sure it will be even more so in the future so if you can already envision as early as now what path you would like to follow someday, the better. Self-awareness is key, so knowing who you are and what you are good at, and what you would like to achieve in the future is essential to determining the next steps you will take. The adage “knowing is half the battle” is very applicable here, yes?

This is where FutureYou.ph comes in. As I shared before, FutureYou.ph is an online tool for exploring career opportunities and their education and training pathways. A project of the Philippine Business for Education and in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/ Philippines, it provides the youth easy access to the latest job market and education information they need to make better decisions about their future. Probably the most important thing to note is that FutureYou.ph is not a job application site. What it does is that it provides you with basic information on available jobs now and in the next few years so that you can start the career planning process even before you go to college. You are not limited to just the jobs that are in demand at any given time, though. If, like me, you pay no heed as to which jobs are on-trend, FutureYou.ph also gives you a peek at the industry you’re interested in so you can ultimately decide whether you want to be part of that world or not. After you have specified the degree you would want to have, FutureYou.ph also lists down the qualifications needed as well as the schools that offer that degree. The Explore Schools Page is where you can find schools based on your personal preferences while the Top Performing Schools link lets you find out if your preferred school is a consistent top performer in the licensure exams. I think its coolest feature though is the Career Quiz, which is perfect for indecisive peeps out there who haven’t figured out yet what they would like to be.

The future depends on what you do today, so make sure you do something today that your future self will thank you for. ;)

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own. Read my complete Disclosure Policy here.

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