Personal Value In The Marketplace 3-Preparing And Planning Early

Poll number: 

Question-Week ending Sunday 08/10/03:

If you were to give advice to High School Juniors, what one item would you say could most improve their future Value In The Marketplace? Please read our Poll Commentary before taking this poll.

Pre-Poll Commentary:

If you read much of what I write about on this website, you will quickly learn that I am a stickler for planning and executing. It is so much easier to achieve what you want, if you have a good plan to accomplish your goals. Then methodically carry out your plan one step at a time until completed. I believe the same holds true when it comes to developing Value in the Marketplace.

Recently I attended many tours and seminars regarding college admissions at some great Colleges and Universities. Every professional recruiter or counselor reminds you that at least 50% of the freshmen class is undecided about their future profession. It normally takes until the end of sophomore year, or halfway through their studies to choose a major. Many are still switching majors in their senior year and end up attending a fifth year of undergraduate studies to fulfill their major requirements. It becomes apparent that very little time goes into investigating professions prior to attending college.

I am in full agreement that kids grow into more mature adults by living away to study at College. The total college experience can build independence and responsibility for most kids. However, the cost and time commitment of a college education today should produce some pre-planned results.

To maximize one's college experience, I think high school sophomores and juniors need to do some serious research into career paths. This can be done by investing some of their internet surfing time into learning about different professions. They can also do some of the following, in order to produce a more meaningful college education:

  • Ask their parents, uncles, aunts, neighbors or friends of family to explain their professions - what they like or dislike about their careers
  • Take tests to determine what professions their interests and values are in alignment with
  • Attend career seminars, workshops and job fairs to learn about different professions
  • Read books, magazines or other publications prepared by colleges, placement offices or the like to learn about professions
  • TAKE NOTES AND DECIDE ON A CAREER PATH before visiting and applying to colleges

This list can go on, but I think you get the point. High school students should be proactive and learn about themselves, their interests and their potential career choices. By knowing what career they want to prepare for, they could analyze colleges better and attend the school that will best prepare them for their career. They can get more excited about the opportunity of learning and prepare to be the best they can in their chosen line of work. They can start summer internships earlier and network with professionals in their field throughout their college days, learning what it will take to bring HIGH VALUE to a company. Planning and knowing where they want to go from day one, will enhance their energy to learn.

Remember, I know I'm speaking about utopia here. But if you can get a head start on getting your teens to think this way, I think it will pay off for both parents and students.

In this week's poll, please vote on this question: "If you were to give advice to High School Juniors, what one item would you say could most improve their future Value In The Marketplace?" This poll will end on Sunday 08/17/03, when the results will be displayed.

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  • 42% voted Be a highly motivated, focused Student with a plan, regardless of which College
  • 25% voted Graduate from an IVY League College if possible
  • 22% voted Graduate from a well known "Large State or Public University"
  • 10% voted Graduate from a "Small Private College"
  • 01% voted Learn a trade and use your college money to start a small business

Post-Poll Commentary:

Though not a majority, 42% of our respondents voted that being a highly motivated, focused student with a plan, regardless of which College they attend - is the best advice for improving their future Value in the Marketplace. I could not agree more with this group.

Market Value depends on so many critical factors. Sure it would be fantastic to graduate from a top Ivy League School. The fact that you were accepted, attended and graduated from such an institution definitely shows you are a committed student. But if you have your IVY degree in hand and happen to be arrogant with a poor attitude, your degree becomes near worthless to a potential employer. You need to have a "total package" to offer employers today in the tight job market for college grads.

Keep in mind that students need to be proactive as early as possible in High School, to research and find out their interests and future course of studies. They should not wait until the last minute to begin planning their very expensive journey through college.