"Whether you're 18, 38 or 58 the career decision-making process is the same. You've provided a tool that can be referred to over a lifetime."
Ken B Hoyt, Ph.D.
Former Director, Office of Career Education, U.S. Department of Education
Past President, National Career Development Association
Past President, American Counseling Association

HELP students become career-focused and career-committed.

Central to the message of the Career Choices curriculum is helping students become career-focused and career-committed while learning how to make effective decisions about their futures. Studies show that students who enter college or post-secondary training career-focused and career-committed are far more likely to graduate and transition into productive work that matches their education and training.

Build  on the momentum started by the Career Choices experience.

In order to accomplish this, and to maintain the momentum started by a course involving Career Choices, it is critical that students revisit and revise their 10-year plans during their sophomore, junior, and senior years. The more students are asked to rethink and rework their plans, the more meaningful the plans become and the more comfortable students will be making decisions that involve change -- which is a crucial survival skill in the 21st century workforce.

Provide data-driven information about each student's plan that can be accessed quickly and easily.

The best guidance is provided when working from specific examples, rather than general or vague notions. For advisory situations to function effectively, instructors, counselors, and advisors need quantitative information about each student and their unique education and career goals.  If advice and mentoring is built on each student's identifiable goals, it will have more meaning. By having this information online, all stake holders can quickly access this in-depth information so individual guidance can be provided easily.

Focus high school students on learning "the process," rather than just focusing on the end result.

Becoming career-focused and career-committed doesn't mean that students are making final, lifelong career choices. Instead, they are learning an important decision-making process by pondering and answering the questions who am I, what do I want, and how do I get it. This is an explicit process they will use throughout their lives when faced with major decisions. Knowing this process in a step-by-step sequence exposes young people to sophisticated techniques and strategies not normally experienced at such a young age. This online 10-year plan,  allows for ongoing exposure to the process and updating of the plan, reinforcing what they've learned so it becomes innate.

Impact  student's efforts with a meaningful plan that will help them discover important aspects of themselves and the world around them.

As articulated in Principal Leadership magazine, for a standards-based comprehensive guidance course like Career Choices to be effective, students' 10-year plans must be readily available to all instructors so each academic department can provide opportunities for students to rework their plans. Examples of this include:

  • A 10th-grade social studies department could work with its students to reassess their 10-year plans once they study globalization and its impact on the American workforce.
  • An 11th-grade English department can facilitate the annual re-editing of the plans once the students read a literary work in which a character struggles with his or her own life-planning issues.
  • As part of a senior independent study project, students could update their 10-year plans to use in college or employment interviews. Or, students could choose a service learning project in a career interest area, as identified in the current version of their plan.

The realities of the 21st-century workforce are unlike any we've experienced before.

In the 21st century, when the vast majority of jobs no longer enjoy long-term stability (due to changing industries, globalization, and technological advancements), knowing how to navigate the ever-changing world of work has become a critical life skill. Those that fail to adapt to this new reality could be condemned to subsistence living. My10yearPlan.com is the forum in which these important issues can be addressed.