It’s that time of year again: the weather is heating up, the school year is coming to an end, and graduation is not far away. People are probably starting to ask you about your plans for after high school. It might seem like everyone knows what they’re doing, but chances are you’re not the only one who’s a little unsure about the next step.
Nobody has their life plan all figured out at graduation. Opportunities will come, paths will change, and you might end up somewhere you never could have predicted! Many of our students here at The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), San Antonio, didn’t know they’d work in the beauty industry back when they were in high school.
At the same time, it’s still a good idea to have a shorter-term destination in mind and a few steps you can take to get there. Here are 5 ways you can start thinking about what to do after graduation:
1. Imagine Yourself in 5 Years
Take a moment and imagine yourself in five years. It might seem silly, but visualizing your future is important! Do you live in your hometown or an entirely new city? Are you living with your family, friends, a significant other, or on your own? Do you spend a lot of time with other people or are you focusing on your own hobbies? Maybe you’ve spent the last few years growing your career, or you just finished school and started your first job in a new field.
With all of the positive and exciting things to come, it’s also normal to feel stressed or worried about the future. Being worried about student loans, choosing the “right” career, and wondering if you’re on the right path are all normal ways to feel. While some worries are just part of life, you can make plans to avoid potential stresses. For example, you could choose to get an education with minimal student loans or get lots of information on your career options to feel comfortable with your choice. We offer financial aid to those who qualify, and our Financial Aid Administrator is here to help you understand how it all works.
2. Get to Know Yourself
There are dozens of free personality tests online that can help you learn more about yourself. Knowing if you want to work with other people each day, if you like to be spontaneous, or if you enjoy solving problems will help you decide what type of career you’d like to have. Some personality tests even give a list of common careers for your personality type. However, don’t feel limited by that list. You can choose any career you want! They are just ideas of jobs other people with personalities similar to yours have chosen.
While some people might think that hairstylists need to be very outgoing and talkative, the truth is that a variety of personality types can be great for a career in the beauty industry. People who are naturally quieter will vibe with a stylist who has a calmer personality. Also, estheticians get to work closely with people but often don’t talk with their client during the service.
3. Speak With Mentors
If you’re curious about what it’s like to work in different careers, the easiest thing to do is to just ask people about their job. You could speak with relatives, teachers, and even your hairstylist next time you go in for an appointment! Messaging people you know on social media about their jobs and career paths is also a way to get information. While some people might not be helpful, many others will want to share their journey with you.
If you are considering going to a specific school, reaching out to students or alumni and asking them about their experience is also a good idea. Hearing what they liked or disliked about their experience will be a good way to determine if that path is right for you.
Speaking to someone who knows you well could also help you learn more about what types of paths could be a good fit for you. A teacher, friend, or older relative could tell you what they feel are your strengths and give you ideas of careers to look into.
4. Pay Attention to Your Interests
The easiest way to tell you will like a career is if you’re already doing it! While you probably don’t have your dream job yet, you might be able to use your hobbies and talents in a future job. Maybe you have always enjoyed drawing, writing, makeup, sports, or doing hair. Any of those talents could make a great career!
You can also apply your talents toward a career that might not seem related at first glance. For example, becoming a professional athlete might not be realistic for everyone who loves sports. However, becoming a nutritionist, personal trainer, or physical therapist are all great options for people who are passionate about physical activity.
Think about what you do for fun or what subjects you are drawn to in school. Researching online about the careers that use these skills could help you discover career possibilities you have never thought of before! For example, a career in cosmetology would allow someone to exercise their creativity and people skills. At the same time, a more precise, detail-oriented person could also make an amazing colorist as they mix formulas and place color on the hair.
5. Write Down Your Goals
You might have heard that a goal is just a dream until you write it down. Well, it’s true! Write down your goals and then put them in a place that you see everyday. Some people like to put them on the bathroom mirror or next to their computer screen. After you’ve written down your goal, you can write down some steps to achieve it starting right now.
The first step could be as simple as making a plan to ask someone about their career, booking a tour at a school you’re interested in, or setting aside some time to research careers and get to know yourself better.
Consider a Career in Cosmetology
Now that you’re ready to start exploring different options for life after graduation, you could consider cosmetology. If you are hard working, creative, and enjoy working with people, cosmetology could be a great career path for you to explore! Cosmetology school is much shorter than a traditional college but still has many great financial aid and scholarship opportunities. It’s also a growing field: there will never not be a demand for hair cutting and styling! For more information about cosmetology school, please contact us or schedule a tour.