Youth Quest


The Youth Quest program provides resources to high school students in order to help them plan for a successful future. In order to properly make use of these resources Youth Quest asks young people to answer these three highly important questions: Should I Go On?What Do I Want?, and Where Should I Go?

 

 

Okay, this one’s easy, and we’ll answer it for you. Of course you should go on for additional training, whatever kind it may be! Don’t think so? Well, only 10% of the job titles available in the United States are for jobs that require a High School diploma or less. Only 10%! Does that mean that a Masters degree is your only hope for attaining your dreams? Not at all – depending on your dreams. You see, only 20% of jobs require a Bachelors (four year degree) or more. So what does that leave us?

70% require more than High School, but less than a Bachelors Degree.

Below, you can check out some of the training and education options that are available after High School. Take a look at a few – or all – to determine which would be the best fit for you!

Colleges and Universities – The traditional avenue to education…

Apprenticeships – Possibly even more traditional than college, but often overlooked…

The Armed Forces – Great for some, but not for all; the military offers extensive training…

AmeriCorps and other Service Opportunities – Start getting job experience through service…

 

 

This question is not as straightforward as “Should I Go On?” It is nowhere near as simple to answer. To answer the first question you simply need to look at the statistics of what training is necessary to get a well-paying job. What that well-paying job should be… Well, there are no statistics to measure that. It’s up to you, and Youth Quest doesn’t have the answer that is right just for you. Fortunately, someone who you are much more familiar with can answer this question… YOU!

To begin finding your own, personal answer to this question, try answering these three questions:

1 – What Am I Good At?

2 – What Do I Enjoy Doing?

3 – What Can I Earn a Living At?

Not sure how to answer one, two or even all three of these questions? That’s okay – it’s normal. YQ Online offers some resources and activities to help you out, in the form of the Talent Exercise, Your Mission Statement and The Top 20 Careers in the U.S. Check out any – or all – of these for some extra assistance.

 

 

Now you have determined that you’re going on after high school and you hopefully even know into which area available to you (College, apprenticeships, etc.) you plan to go. But if you’re moving on to college, which college are you going to? How much will it cost? If you’re going into an apprenticeship, how much will you be making? Military? Which branch and why?

Here are the three main questions that you want to have answered before you begin researching where to go for additional skills, training and/or education:

Where do I want to be (geographically) for my training/education?

What degree and/or certifications should I have for my career?

How will I pay for my additional training/education?

If, as we know many students do, you’ve determined that you’ll be going on to college, then don’t forget the most important step of researching colleges – Visiting! And this doesn’t just go for college, either. In apprenticeships and, possibly, even in the military you might have the option of participating in Job Shadowing. First hand knowledge is always the best knowledge!

 

 

This is a simple exercise that can be done with anyone who knows you well. Grab a friend, a sibling or another family member and sit down with them for a few minutes with two pieces of paper and two pens. Here’s what you do.

1. Each of you takes one sheet of paper and one pen and some kind of surface to write on so that you won’t be able to see what your partner is writing.

2. Start by writing down 10 things (or as many things that you want) that you think your partner is talented in. Your partner will do the same for you.

3. When you’re each finished, exchange papers with the ten talents facing down,
DON’T READ THEM YET.

4. Now, write down 10 things (or as many as you want) that you think you are talented in.

After this, you should hold in your hand a piece of paper with ten things you think you have talent in on one side and ten things your partner thinks you have talent in on the other side. Just compare the two lists.

Sometimes our strongest talents are the ones that are most hidden from us. Our strongest talents may be so natural to us that we don’t realize that other people don’t possess the same skill. It’s those hidden skills that this exercise is aiming to uncover. Those skills are very important because if you happen to have an uncommon skill then people may value that skill in you. Not only is this exercise interesting and fun, you may find out about talents you never even dreamed you had!

 

 

Mission Statements come in many different forms. Most commonly you’ll find that corporations and other businesses use Mission Statements in order to broadly direct the way their companies are going. In a sense the U.S. Constitution is like a Mission Statement for our country. Boiled down, a Mission Statement is really just a string of words- words that represent your values, your hopes, the lessons that you’ve learned and, most often, a bit about how you are going to get where you want to be.  So, if companies and even countries use this tool to help guide themselves, why shouldn’t you have your own personal Mission Statement?

To Start Out- VALUES

Think about the things that you value. Do you value family? Money? Power? Solitude? Pets? Your collection of decorative tea cozies? Anything at all? Everyone, yes, everyone has something that they value. Even if you say that you value nothing, you probably say that because you value not valuing anything. So think about what you value, and then write down all the things that are important to you. Put them into a list – this can be as short or as long as you like – and then move on to the next step.

The Next Step – TALENTS

Using the same list-making process as before, write down every skill you possess. Whether you are a crackerjack computer programmer or a master at nasal pan-flute playing, throw it down. Nothing is out of bounds. Also, you can do the Talent Exercise, if you haven’t already, to unearth some talents that you may not even realize you have. Once you’ve got an exhaustive list of talents, move on to the final step.

The Final Step – CONFLICTS

Now you know what you value, and you know what you’re talented at. So, do any of the things on either of your lists conflict? Like, for instance, do you value having lots and lots of money, but also value living a life of leisure? One of the two has to go. Or, are you a talented underwater basket weaver, but you want to be a neuro-surgeon by the age of 25? Well, one of the two activities is going to have to move to the back burner. Weigh your options, and pick those things which are most important to you, and compile them into a third and final list. This final list should consist of all the things that you can do and are important to you. Now, the fun bit.

Constructing your Mission Statement

Take all the things that you’ve got on your final list, and write them into a statement. If you only have a few things left, then you can just make one statement. If you have quite a bit left, as is common, then turn them into several statements. For instance, you can have one Mission Statement concerning your home life, another for your work life, another for what you want to do on the weekends. Put all together, this will be your Mission Statement. Now use it as you see fit. Keep it in a drawer and re-read it from time to time, possibly updating it as your situation changes. Hang it on your wall in a prominent place so you can’t help but notice it. Anything that you need to do so that it will help motivate you to achieve each goal that you’ve put into it. Just give it a shot. Mission Statements are powerful tools.

 

 

 

Below are seven questions that are commonly asked during a job interview. Generally speaking, if you are interviewing for a position at least three of the following questions will be asked. So, consider this exercise as something of a, “heads up” for what may happen when you go in for your interview.

Mock Job Interview Form Instructions: Select a company name and a position at that company which you would like to interview for. If you have an idea of what your dream job would be, use that as the basis of your company and position. If you have an upcoming interview, try plugging in the company and position that you’ve already applied for.  Answer each question with what you think is the appropriate answer. There is an eighth question, and that is up to you; put in whatever you think may be appropriate that was not included in the previous seven questions. For further refinement of your interviewing skills, print out two copies of the interview questions, writing your answers on one set and then giving the other to your partner or mentor. Conduct a live mock interview with your partner and have your partner use their sheet to give you notes on your answers. Afterward, review and revise your answers as needed.

TIP: Come up with your own answer for each question and gear the answers toward what you know the company will be seeking in an employee. Think of an interview not so much as an opportunity to say that you’re good enough to work for an organization, but to explain to the hiring manager why their organization needs you

 

 

 

Below are links to lists of some of the options available for post-secondary education in Wisconsin.

Colleges and Universities

 

 

Below is a link to Youth Quest’s College Questionnaire. This is a tool that students or even parents can use to compare technical schools, colleges or universities to one another. The questionnaire consists of four pages of questions that everyone should ask every single college or other post-secondary institution that they are interested in attending. So, remember – You’re definitely going to need more than one!PDF FormatYouthQuest College Questionnaire

Your resume and cover letter are the basic building blocks of any job hunt. Since you will be spending approximately 80,000 hours of your life (that’s one full third of an average lifetime!) working, you want these tools to be the best that they can possibly be. The resources available on how to write both cover letters and resumes are extensive, and most of these resources come directly from the most important people in a job hunt – Hiring Managers. So, there are links below where you can get started in your own research on resumes and cover letters, but keep these few simple points in mind:

 

You should only need one resume! Your resume should be your ultimate tool for job acquisition. Only two things should ever change on your resume. One is your objective, which you can shape to fit the company you’re applying to. The other is your job history, which will change as it grows and becomes more impressive.

One cover letter is not going to be enough. The cover letter is not like the resume, you can’t use the same one again and again. However, you can use the same format again and again. The example from Monster.com below is not the only example available. Do research and find other example cover letters.

Lastly, and most importantly…

Don’t bend to the will of your job history, construct the job history that you want! You control what goes on your resume, and the way you control it is by picking and choosing what you do in your life. For instance, if you want to be a veterinarian, which of these options is better: Working at a fast food restaurant for some extra money right now, or volunteering at the SPCA to gain vital experience working with animals? What is that dream vet’s office going to prefer seeing on your resume, that you know how to handle a frightened animal or that you know how to cook a peice of meat? Actively create your job history now, don’t wait to find out what your job history will be.

Below are links to .pdf format activity. This is an activity to build resume skills, and it is suggested that you print out at least the pages from the first link.

Resume Activity

Cover Letter Information (from monster.com)

The following checklists have been created as a way of making sure that you have covered all of your bases while planning for the future. Feel free to either skim through the checklists below, or, if you are so inclined, you can also print out a pdf version of the checklists by clicking on the link below. Career Check List   This is a basic checklist for how to choose a career and be sure that it is something that you want to do and are capable of achieving within your parameters and goals for the future. Is this tool a sure thing- a 100% answer for what you should do, how you should do it and why it’s a good idea? Absolutely not. But it’s a good start…

#1: Evaluate personality and talents. For help doing these complete the talent exercise, and for more information on personality testing, feel free to contact Youth Quest. Once you’ve got a good idea of what you’re like and what talents you possess, select one or two talents that fit in with your personality and you would enjoy working with daily.

#2: Alone or with a partner, brainstorm what fields of work (not necessarily a specific career, but if you already have a career in mind, more power to you) you think you would enjoy and could use your chosen talents in doing.

#3: Take your list and visit http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm. On this website research some of the career choices available to you in your chosen fields.

#4: This is where the game starts getting a little bit tougher. You are now going to have to research each and every career that looks interesting to you. This is time consuming, but can end up being easier than you might think (even fun!) and it is also exceptionally helpful. Here are some of the facts, but by no means all the facts, you should gather about potential careers:

  • Median Salary/Wage:
  • Educational Prerequisite:
  • Work Environment:
  • Job Responsibilities:
  • Do Positions Require Experience? How Much?
  • How Do People Get Experienced?

Career Plan Checklist

Now that you have completed the career choice checklist, hopefully you have narrowed down the options open to you to just a few options that you’re interested in. If not, that’s perfectly fine. Always remember that every choice available is always available to you. Nothing should be left out of this process unless you want it left out.

The next step is to actually decide which option is really best for you. Sit down with your list of interesting careers and complete this next checklist. If you have multiple careers, write up copies of the checklist freehand or have photocopies made to assist you with all your choices.

#1: Career Choice:

#2: List the colleges or other post secondary organizations that you are interested in attending that can provide you with the necessary training for this career choice.

#3: Complete the College Questionnaire for each school that you may possibly attend. It is highly encouraged that you do not limit yourself to the questions on the College Questionnaire, but simply use that as a basis and jumping off point for your enquiries into post secondary education.

#4: You have to pick a location. This can be factored in to your choice of post secondary institution, or could just be where you would like to end up after completing your education. Knowing where you want to be now is important because it will be much easier to choose a location and then begin a career there rather than choosing a career, then having to change locations and possibly jobs. List some places that you’d like to be, as few or as many as you’d like. You’ve got a long while to think about this one.

#5: Research and discuss your financial possibilities. Your parents may be in a position to help you, or you may qualify for financial aid. Will you be able to work part time while going to school? And, one option often overlooked or ruled out off-the-bat, do you qualify for any scholarships? Do some research and you may be surprised at what you can find.

The Final Step

Okay, now that you’ve completed the preceding checklists for all the careers you are interested in, it’s time to take the final step. Unfortunately, this is the hardest step, but the strain of it should be alleviated somewhat by all of the research that you’ve now done on your career interests. There’s not really any clever way to put this, but it’s important enough that I think it warrants to be set apart. Here it goes…
NOW YOU HAVE TO REVIEW ALL THE INFORMATION YOU’VE GATHERED AND CHOOSE JUST ONE CAREER PATH.

To reiterate, the preceding checklists were only tools, not answers. Tools help in making tasks easier but in the end they don’t actually do the tasks themselves. That part, the motivation, the skill and the intelligence is left up to you, the individual, and only you. But don’t agonize over your choice. Just relax and realize that you’ve done the research, you know your options. If you’ve really looked into yourself and your desires as well as into the world with all its options, you probably have already determined what the right course is for you. Now go for it.

There is your final check box for when you’ve decided what you want to do. When you’re ready, when you’re confident and sure of your decision, check that box, and write out for yourself what your final plan is for the future!

The following checklists have been created as a way of making sure that you have covered all of your bases while planning for the future. Feel free to either skim through the checklists below, or, if you are so inclined, you can also print out a .pdf version of the checklists by clicking on the link below. Career Check List (pdf format)

Career Choice Checklist

This is a basic checklist for how to choose a career and be sure that it is something that you want to do and are capable of achieving within your parameters and goals for the future. Is this tool a sure thing- a 100% answer for what you should do, how you should do it and why it’s a good idea? Absolutely not. But it’s a good start…

  1. Evaluate personality and talents. For help doing these complete the talent exercise, and for more information on personality testing, feel free to contact Youth Quest. Once you’ve got a good idea of what you’re like and what talents you possess, select one or two talents that fit in with your personality and you would enjoy working with daily.
  2. Alone or with a partner, brainstorm what fields of work (not necessarily a specific career, but if you already have a career in mind, more power to you) you think you would enjoy and could use your chosen talents in doing.
  3. Take your list and visit http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm. On this website research some of the career choices available to you in your chosen fields.
  4. This is where the game starts getting a little bit tougher. You are now going to have to research each and every career that looks interesting to you. This is time consuming, but can end up being easier than you might think (even fun!) and it is also exceptionally helpful. Here are some of the facts, but by no means all the facts, you should gather about potential careers:
  • Median Salary/Wage:
  • Educational Prerequisite:
  • Work Environment:
  • Job Responsibilities:
  • Do Positions Require Experience? How Much?
  • How Do People Get Experienced?

 

Career Plan Checklist

Now that you have completed the career choice checklist, hopefully you have narrowed down the options open to you to just a few options that you’re interested in. If not, that’s perfectly fine. Always remember that every choice available is always available to you. Nothing should be left out of this process unless you want it left out.

The next step is to actually decide which option is really best for you. Sit down with your list of interesting careers and complete this next checklist. If you have multiple careers, write up copies of the checklist freehand or have photocopies made to assist you with all your choices.

  1.  Career Choice:
  2. List the colleges or other post secondary organizations that you are interested in attending that can provide you with the necessary training for this career choice.
  3. Complete the College Questionnaire for each school that you may possibly attend. It is highly encouraged that you do not limit yourself to the questions on the College Questionnaire, but simply use that as a basis and jumping off point for your enquiries into post secondary education.
  4. You have to pick a location. This can be factored in to your choice of post secondary institution, or could just be where you would like to end up after completing your education. Knowing where you want to be now is important because it will be much easier to choose a location and then begin a career there rather than choosing a career, then having to change locations and possibly jobs. List some places that you’d like to be, as few or as many as you’d like. You’ve got a long while to think about this one.
  5. Research and discuss your financial possibilities. Your parents may be in a position to help you, or you may qualify for financial aid. Will you be able to work part time while going to school? And, one option often overlooked or ruled out off-the-bat, do you qualify for any scholarships? Do some research and you may be surprised at what you can find.

The Final Step

Okay, now that you’ve completed the preceding checklists for all the careers you are interested in, it’s time to take the final step. Unfortunately, this is the hardest step, but the strain of it should be alleviated somewhat by all of the research that you’ve now done on your career interests. There’s not really any clever way to put this, but it’s important enough that I think it warrants to be set apart. Here it goes…

NOW YOU HAVE TO REVIEW ALL THE INFORMATION YOU’VE GATHERED AND CHOOSE JUST ONE CAREER PATH.

To reiterate, the preceding checklists were only tools, not answers. Tools help in making tasks easier but in the end they don’t actually do the tasks themselves. That part, the motivation, the skill and the intelligence is left up to you, the individual, and only you. But don’t agonize over your choice. Just relax and realize that you’ve done the research, you know your options. If you’ve really looked into yourself and your desires as well as into the world with all its options, you probably have already determined what the right course is for you. Now go for it.

There is your final check box for when you’ve decided what you want to do. When you’re ready, when you’re confident and sure of your decision, check that box, and write out for yourself what your final plan is for the future!

Job Shadowing is an extremely useful tool in choosing a career path. Basically, it amounts to following a person around their work, usually for a full day, learning the in’s and out’s of their job. This is a tool usually used in training new employees, but it need not be limited to that. There are many businesses that will accept Job Shadowing requests from potential employees who are still in school, especially in more competitive fields. Give a company you’re interested in a call today, and see if you can arrange a Job Shadow date.Job Shadowing:

  • Allows you to visit and learn about careers you are interested in.
  • Allows you to ask questions of people already in the job field you’re interested in
  • Gives you a chance to gather information on a wide variety of careers before making a final decision.
  • Creates a link between education and success.

 

 

1.   Home Health Aides
2.   Network systems and data communications analysts
3.   Medical Assistants
4.   Physicians Assistants
5.   Computer Software Engineers, Applications
6.   Physical Therapists Assistants
7.   Dental Hygienists
8.   Computer software engineers, systems software
9.   Dental Assistants
10. Personal and Home Care Aides
11. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
12. Database Administrators
13. Physical Therapists
14. Forensic Science Technicians
15. Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
16. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
17. Physical Therapists Aides
18. Occupational Therapists Assistants
19. Medical Scientists, except Epidemiologists
20. Occupational Therapists

By no means are these the only jobs with good to fair career prospects until 2012. These careers are just a sampling of many, many avenues open to you for creating your own unique brand of personal success.

You can find more information about these statistics and many others at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, http://www.bls.gov/. For more information and descriptions of the jobs listed above as well as those not present, visit the BLS website’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. There you can search for specific occupational descriptions or scroll through a list of all descriptions available.