The following are frequently asked questions:
1. Question: What is the 6-year plan and why is it important to start in 7th grade?
Answer: Planning is one of the most important time management techniques and contains steps to achieving a specific goal. What can be more important than having a goal for yourself after high school and successfully achieving that goal? A plan is like a map. When following a plan, you can always see how much you have progressed towards your goal and how far you are from your destination. The goal of Map Your Future is for every student to achieve success after high school. Meeting high school graduation requirements and receiving a high school diploma is one of the first step to success, but ensuring you have the skills and education necessary to get the job you really need or want to support the lifestyle you want is the most important. Because high school and college credits can now be earned as early as 7th grade, starting a 6-year plan in 7th grade is recommended. The Map Your Future 6-year plan involves thinking about what kind of lifestyle you want to live, researching the careers that will help you pay for that lifestyle, then ensuring that you are capable of fullfilling the requirements of that career through taking the right academic courses in middle and high school, enrolling in the right training and possibly going on to college if that is part of the plan. Map Your Future Mentors can help you work through the process and develop your very own Six-Year Plan.
2. Question: There are so many careers to choose from, how do I decide what to pick?
Answer: Choosing a career is as individual as choosing what foods you like to eat and how often you like to eat. The right career for you depends on your personality and your abilities. A good way to start is by taking the Career Interest Inventory located on the Ohio Means Jobs website (click on the link on our homepage). This will help you figure out what might be a good fit for you. Then the next step will be exploring different careers to understand if it is something that will be a good fit and possible for you. The Ohio Means Jobs site offers up to date information on salaries and skills required for various careers. It also explains which careers are "in demand" careers. Map Your Future mentors can help you with the career interest inventories and help you understand all the resources available on the Ohio Means Jobs website to explore careers and find a career that is right for you.
3. Question: OK, so I kind of know what I want to do when I graduate. What next?
Answer: Now is the time to get a copy of the blank 6-Year Plan from the forms tab of our website and begin filling it out. It asks you to write down your career goals, then fill in the academic plan from 7th through 12th grade of what courses you will take to help you reach your goal. First you want to fill in all the graduation requirements needed to graduate from high school. Take into consideration that you want to take as rigorous courses as you can handle to challenge yourself and learn. If college is part of your career plan, you need to consider trying honor and AP courses (if available) which are more challenging courses than the normal high school classes. If your goal is to work in a skilled trade or specialty career that requires specific technical/career training, figure out what help and training is available through Pickaway Ross Career and Technology Center or other resources. Map Your Future mentors and your guidance counselors can help point you in the right direction for specific career training. Next, you want to look at what elective courses you will take to fill your schedule. Map Your Future Mentors and your guidance counselor can help you look at your middle school and high school curriculum and recommend courses to take. Remember, education is a gift and in our great country it is free. You will only be able to take advantage of a free education through high school (unless you are fortunate to receive a scholarship to higher technical training or college), so take as many classes as you can handle and enjoy the experience! Don't try to take the minimum and graduate early without a plan. Getting as much learning under your belt as you can before graduation can only be to your advantage.
4. Question: Why do you have a place for extracurricular activities on the 6-Year Plan? Why does that matter?
Answer: Extracurricular activities like clubs and sports are important in showing employers and colleges what your interests are and what kind of person you are. It shows you are well-rounded and can handle the responsibilty of working as a team and in the case of class officers or team captains - leadership! Employment outside of school shows you are responsible and can be trusted by an employer, and shows that you can handle more than one thing - school and a job. Volunteer hours show employers and colleges that you care about your community and world and will probably care about your career and workplace and care about making a difference. Extracurricular activities are just as important to your resume as your academic record and high school diploma.
5. Question: What if I change my career goals? What happens to my 6-Year Plan?
Answer: You probably will change your mind about career goals many times during high school as you explore all your options. This is normal and expected! Better to think about your goals before you graduate rather than wating until your senior year to start thinking about what you want to do after high school. Planning early gives you time to change your mind and adjust your plan! The 6-Year Plan should be reviewed annually and you should continually update it and make changes when necessary.
6. Question: How can I be sure a career is right for me?
Answer: Some of us may never be totally sure, but we can do all we can to explore all the options and have an understanding about what is possible and attainable. Researching your career on the internet and in-person is key! Map Your Future can link you to job-shadowing experiences in the community and introduce you to career mentors that can answer questions about the careers you are interested in so you can make informed decisions about what you want to do with your life.