School becomes more meaningful—and more enjoyable—when you know where your education is taking you.
GOING through school without a goal is like running a race on a track that has no finish line. The Bible says: “Know where you are headed.” (Proverbs 4:26, Contemporary English Version) Having a goal will keep you focused and make your transition to the working world smoother. How can you set a goal?
Ask yourself, ‘How do I plan to earn a living?’ Do not put off answering that question. Instead, plan early. Why? Think of it this way: If you wanted to go on a trip, first you would need to decide on your destination. Then you would look at a map and determine the best way to get there. You can take a similar approach to your schooling. Think about which occupation you will pursue, and then choose courses that will help you reach your destination.
Caution: Many young people are so determined to do only work that they feel most passionate about—becoming a professional musician, for example—that they find the thought of any other type of employment intolerable. What is a better approach?
- Consider your abilities. For example, do you enjoy service-related tasks or being helpful to others? Are you good at mechanics? numbers? finances? fixing things?
- Consider your options. Which occupations are a good match for your abilities? Brainstorm several options rather than focusing only on your “dream” job. And think practically. For example, will the field you want to pursue be available in other locations, in case you should move? Will the training that is required put you in unreasonable debt?
- Consider your opportunities. Once you know which occupation you would like to pursue, look at the market for that type of work locally. Do you know any potential employers? If so, do they offer apprenticeships? Are there vocational training programs available?
Tip: Consult your parents, teachers, and adult friends. Check out your local library and online resources.
The bottom line: If you have a goal, your education will have direction and purpose.
Why not get started? Think now, while you are still in school, about the three points noted above. Write down your goals, and discuss them with your parents.