Step 3:  Decision-Making & PlanningStep 3:  Decision-Making & Planning

Once you’ve tapped into your interests and learned more about yourself and explored your options, now it’s time to make some decisions and start planning. Below are some resources to help you out. You should also talk with your school guidance counselor and parents. They will have other information that could help you.

Evaluating Your Options 
This site helps you in the decision-making process by working with you to develop a career plan.

What's Next
Here's a new 2011/2012 NJ Labor and Workforce Development publication, "What's Next:  Your Job. Your Choice.YOUR LIFE." It is packed with info you will want to check out when considering your next steps, like exploring career options, matching jobs to subjects you like, and finding out which jobs are in demand and what you can expect to be paid.

Financial Literacy & How Business Works
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania launched Knowledge@Wharton High School, a free, regularly updated web publication aimed at high school students and their teachers.  The site promotes financial literacy and a deeper understanding of how business works by presenting articles, videos, learning simulations and interactive tools.  Each issue of KWHS will include articles on a wide variety of interesting topics ranging from entrepreneurship, sports, fashion and food to the environment, career planning, social impact and technology. 

Decide on Education
What education do you need to reach your career goal? This will help you decide.

Decision-Making For Your Future
This web site helps in planning your future by providing the steps to consider when making key decisions.

Career Exploration Tools & Materials
An extensive list of Internet resources for students, parents, educators and counselors interested in up-to-date career information.

Job & Career Accelerator
Learning Express, LLC, partnered with the New Jersey State Library, provides access to this career system.  On the web site access millions of active job and internship postings, a wide array of valuable information including predicted job growth by field, a review of today's hottest careers, model resumes based on job titles and experience levels, interactive computer training courses and eBooks for skill building and study.  This web site is accessible from any computer within a NJ public library or from anywhere with an Internet connection by logging in with a valid NJ public library customer card.

Career Equity Resource Center
On this new Center for Women and Work at Rutgers, The State University web site (formerly called Nontraditional Career Resource Center), learn what a nontraditional career is, and check out lots of information for students, parents, and educators about these careers including skills, career paths, internships and apprenticeships, online inquiries to experts in the field, and research and resources on gender equity and career development.

Education Online Search
This web site can provide you with a helpful start in thinking about what career(s) may be best for you.   Offers a variety of articles geared toward career exploration.

Job Shadowing and Internships

Besides using the Web to research jobs, another great way to learn more is by “shadowing” someone in a job that you interests you or by getting an internship in that position.

With a job shadow, you spend the day following someone in a particular career area. Often your school will arrange for job shadow experiences with local businesses. You can also arrange for your own job shadow.

In an internship, you spend time working for a company or organization that is in your career area of interest. Often these are unpaid work experiences that last for a few weeks during the summer. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get a paid internship.  Often an internship will allow you to rotate through different departments in a company so you can learn more about the field.

Below are some great resources on job shadowing and internships to check out.