“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

You can probably remember being asked that question when you were younger. How did you answer? Fireman, actress, racing car driver, nurse, teacher, mother, astronaut, baseball player, secretary, farmer?

Your career goals may have changed since then. But now those goals are much more important, because you are grown-up.

If you’re a high school student, perhaps ready to graduate, a lot of choices about your future are facing you.

Even if you’re just beginning high school, it’s not too soon to explore all the possibilities available to you in the world of careers and work. Those momentous decisions will be before you all too soon.

Will you enter a job by choice – one you have thoroughly researched and thought about, and for which you have strong aptitudes and interest?

Or will you enter a job by chance – just taking whatever comes along, always wishing you could do something else and ending up frustrated?

Maybe you’re saying right now: “What good would it do me to think about jobs? This world’s coming to an end very shortly. What difference does a career make to me? I’ll never have to worry about it.”

But you will!

Yes, this world is ending, but it’s going to be replaced by a fantastic society that will stagger your imagination – the wonderful world tomorrow, ruled by the Kingdom of God and bursting at the seams with outstanding opportunities for fine careers, great achievements and positions of leadership!

You can have a part in that wonderful world. Of course, qualifying for the world tomorrow at all requires that you determine to always obey God, and that you want to be in His Kingdom. But what part you play in God’s Kingdom after you qualify will depend a lot on how you develop yourself now by acquiring talents, skills and abilities.

You need to educate yourself, to fit yourself for the achievement of your goals. Skill development, whether it be in the secretarial, architectural, engineering, accounting or other fields, is a way of fitting yourself to achieve career goals now, as well as preparing yourself for the world tomorrow.

And you continue to gain skills from the career and work experiences you have. That’s why it’s important to properly appreciate your work opportunities now, and to make a wise choice of the profession you enter.

God created work

God Himself is a worker. So is Jesus Christ (John 5: 17). And God says work is good. After He created the world, making it splendid and beautiful again, God stood back and saw that His work was very good (Gen. 1:31).

God created the first man and put him in Eden. But did he just lie around all day with nothing to do? No! God put him to work. God made a gardener and gave him the responsibility of taking care of it. (Gen. 2: 15).

So in approaching the subject of work to begin with, remember that work is good. Work may not seem good when you have to take out the garbage or baby-sit for your little brothers and sisters or clean your room or prepare dinner for the whole family, but remember that it is – God says so.

Honest work and right attitudes toward work will always hold you in good stead. So will respecting whoever is in authority over you on the job.

Now is the time to analyze the various vocations you could enter, and start determining just where you are going in life.

Career education

You should begin the process by analyzing yourself.

Talk to your parents. They know you better than anyone else. They have years of life experiences from which you can benefit and are sincerely concerned about your future.

Also talk to others who can offer invaluable insight into various vocations and career possibilities through their contact with people in many different lines of work. They can help you make wise decisions. You need to ask yourself several questions:

What types of work have you already found satisfying – working with facts and figures, organizing people, physical labor, speaking before audiences, solving problems, selling merchandise?

What school subjects do you enjoy most – science, mathematics, business, language, technical courses, art, speech?

In what areas are your aptitudes highest (in other words, what do you do best?) – visualizing minute details, using your hands, checking numbers or words for accuracy, reading, listening, using numbers, talking to people, writing?

Your school guidance counselor probably has many different aptitude tests and interest inventories you could take to find out more about yourself.

Then explore all the different fields of work. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles lists thousands of specific job titles and brief descriptions of each. Many private companies publish career information kits. Visiting the library to read about different jobs can be helpful. Your school counselor and people actually working in various professions can offer additional information.

Your decisions concerning careers are some of the most important you will ever make. Don’t make them lightly or without sufficient information. What you do with your time now will determine the part you will play in God’s soon-coming government on earth.

Ask God to help you with your career decisions. He created work and says work is good, and He knows what is best for you. With God on your side, you can choose a career that will not only supply you with a living now, but one that will prepare you for the future.

Hassel A. While and John Williams ‘Youth’

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