Setting Goals Large

Tips for Youth - Setting Goals

October 6, 2021

​Getting Started

When you start thinking about your future and your goals, you want to be doing something that you love and are interested in. With that in mind, you will also need to be able to support yourself in whatever career path you choose. The first step is exploring your skills and interests then using that to start exploring careers. You will find important information, like wages, trends, and training requirements. This information is key to making an informed decision on what you will pursue.

After you have found career areas that you are interested in, you can use these areas to choose classes, clubs, and volunteering to take part in. You can also use this to find training programs and opportunities that you may want to learn more about or star a plan to apply. This will give you more information and help you determine if you really want to get into that career area.

Start exploring, stay focused, and succeed in your future! Presenting the best you is the next step on your path.

Explore Skills & Interests

Before starting training or a career it is important to look at all your options. Whether you have a goal to be a nurse or architect, it is important to make sure you know all about your interests, skills, and values and how they might fit with that career choice. Use the skills and interests surveys available on Illinois workNet to start learning about yourself.

Also use this article to find out more information:

Log-in to your Illinois workNet account to access the skill and interest surveys anytime from your account dashboard!

The four surveys available include:

  1. Interest Profiler (10-20 minutes) - Profiler can help you identify your interests and match them with a wide variety of careers.
  2. Work Importance Locator (5-15 minutes) - The Work Importance Locator can help you learn more about your work values and help you decide what kinds of jobs and careers you might want to explore.
  3. Career Cluster Inventory (5-25 minutes) - This inventory will identify how important the work aspect is to you.
  4. Reality Check (5 - 15 minutes) - This assessment will answer lifestyle questions to determine your estimated monthly living, medical, social, and educational expenses. 

Explore Careers

Once you start gaining work experience, you will want to start thinking about what career you may want to have when you get older. There are many, many options, so it never hurts to start thinking early. Now is the perfect time to start exploring career options and get an idea of the areas that interest you most.

You don't have to make up your mind right away; however, it's still a good idea to think about the areas you might want to work in. If you have worked before or currently have a job, you can ask yourself what parts you like and what parts you don't like. This information can help you make decisions about career areas, too.

One way you can get started is by using Employment 101 to:

  • Find careers that match your interests.
  • Use skill and interest surveys to discover what careers fit your interests and skills.
  • Explore jobs, required skills, credentials, and wage information.
  • Identify soft (or workplace) and technical skills for each job.
  • Learn about financial aid and ways to pay for training and school.
Access the Employment 101 Guide by clicking on My Dashboard when you are logged in to your workNet account.

You can also use these articles and resources to learn more about exploring careers:

Another great way to explore careers is to choose areas that interest you and find volunteering or job shadowing opportunities in these fields. These will give you a great chance to be involved in a career and find specific information while loading up on skills and experieince for your resume. Youalso may find the perfect career for you, or at least find some careers that might not be a great fit with your interests and goals.

Find Training

Now that you have learned your skills and interests and have explored careers, you are ready to find the perfect training program, college or university.

Start by using these articles to help you in your selection process:

If you are eligible for WIOA funding you can search for approved programs on the WIOA Approved Training Program page.

If you are paying out of pocket or looking for financial aid you can use the Public & Private Training Program Search to find even more available programs. Programs include:

  • Public community colleges and universities
  • Private colleges and universities
  • Technical and vocational schools
  • Trade schools
  • Art and design schools

No matter what you are looking for, you can find it with these searches.

Apprenticeships are another great opportunity for certain careers. Apprenticeship Illinois provides additional information about apprenticeships.

There are a lot of resources to help you pay for training and college as well. Use the resources below to get started and be closer to starting your training and education:

Here are some additional resources to get you prepared for college or a training program:

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