Identify potential career paths and mentors

First, sign up and create a profile on LinkedIn and start to build an effective social network. The tools on this website are easy to use and will provide instructions on how to create a profile that highlights your experiences and interests.

Many high school students do not have work experiences, this is an opportunity to include babysitting, internships, and other relevant experiences. The eventual goal of social networking may be to obtain a job, but in order to do so, you must work each week on building a social network. A professional network where you feel that you belong and will grow from experiences within.

First, complete the profile on LinkedIn to the best of your ability. Then, on MyStudentPath below, list 5 possible career paths worthy to pursue.

Second, begin searching for jobs and companies that may be of interest to you. For example, search “dentist” or “linux” and browse the related people, jobs, and companies. The purpose of this activity is to explore possible career paths.

As you read about various professionals, ask and answer the question: How did this person become this kind of professional? What kind of professionals does this institution hire? Each dentist, linux programmer, and other professional have a different career path. Each company employs professionals. Linkedin offers a great way to better understand these career paths.

Identify the common and necessary steps for at least 5 different career paths of professionals that you read about on Linkedin. You may use the 5 possible career paths from the first list or define more specific paths of 5 that would be of most interest to you.

Third, take the opportunity to “follow” organizations and “connect” with other people. Have you worked before? Try to connect with your employers and co-workers.

Genuine connections and learning may not happen on the first few visits to LinkedIn, so spend a few hours to explore and watch what other professionals do on the website. Eventually, attempt to follow organizations of interest, follow and connect with professionals that could teach you something, a potential mentor or employer.

Use the extensive social network on LinkedIn to build confidence in possible career directions to pursue. Then below write a list of questions to ask a mentor about how to prepare for the specific career.