Dec 29, 2020

Brainstorming Post-High School Plans: 6 Community-Based Careers Your Teen Can Consider

As a parent, you want your children to grow up and pursue a career they feel passionate about after they graduate from high school and perhaps college or trade school. Within towns and cities, there are several jobs that offer ample opportunity for community engagement, which may be something your teen desires in a career. Here are some community-based careers your teen can consider as you guide them in figuring out their post-high school graduation plans. 

Event Planner

As far as community-based careers go, becoming an event planner is one that's often overlooked. Event planners can work for a business, an organization, or on a freelance basis. This job allows an individual to plan a variety of events, such as fundraisers, galas, weddings, banquets, festivals, conferences, and conventions, depending on where one works. For example, an event planner in a larger city who plans a number of weddings would know everything there is to know about booking a wedding venue, decorating the venue, seating arrangements, caterers, and more. An event planner would know to choose three main colors to create a theme, and then carry those colors throughout with accessories like napkins, plates, place cards, paper pom-poms, pennants, or balloons for a number of different events.

An event planner is involved in his or her community in a number of ways. To be successful, an event planner would need to make connections in their city or town with several industries. Knowing and having relationships with restaurant and catering company owners, hotel managers, popular venue owners, florists, and other businesses would be helpful and cherishable personally and career-wise for an event planner.

Event planners that work for businesses and organizations often earn bachelor's degrees, and some even earn master's degrees in event planning and/or business.

Jobs in the Legal Field

The legal field allows for much community engagement. There are several career options available whether or not your teen would like to attend college.

Legal Secretary: Legal secretaries provide administrative support as well as serve as a liaison between lawyers and the court system or clients. They also help draft legal documents and speak to professionals, clients, and individuals in the community through their work. Legal secretaries do not need a college degree; however, some states and/or practices require a certification.

Paralegal: Paralegals also do not need a college degree, but as the position continues to grow, more and more practices require one. Paralegals are a step above legal secretaries, as they speak to clients one-on-one, provide information to lawyers, perform research, and draft legal documents.

Lawyer: Lawyers must go to law school following undergraduate studies. After passing the bar exam, lawyers can then practice law in a number of places, such as government entities, solo private practices, nonprofit organizations, and law firms. Community engagement is vital to practicing law. Having connections with business owners and various individuals within a town or city is part of the job and allows for a larger scope of practice. There are 582 million entrepreneurs worldwide, and many rely on lawyers to help them with business and legal issues and negotiations.

If your teen wants to help others, is interested in the law, and wants a community-based job, choosing a career in the legal field may be a great avenue to consider.

Social Worker

Social work is a very rewarding career path to pursue. Socioeconomically disadvantaged families, vulnerable children, and individuals with disabilities are populations that social workers often work with. Community engagement is truly part of this job, as social workers work with other professionals in their community to ensure the proper legal, emotional, mental, and physical well-being and safety of their clients.

Social workers can work in hospitals, schools, private practices, clinics, and government entities. A bachelor's degree must be obtained, and in some states a master's degree, in order to attain the proper credentials to become a licensed social worker.

Small Business Owner

Perhaps your teen has an entrepreneurial side and would like to start their own business after high school or college graduation. There are over 75 million pet dogs in the United States, which is more than in any other country. With this in mind, depending on your community's clientele, running a dog care business could be profitable and have the potential for growth. If your teen loves animals, a business that entails grooming, washing, walking, and boarding dogs could be an ideal fit.

Running a small business takes a lot of hard work, and the business an individual runs must align with their values, passions, and interests. If your teen loves animals, a dog care business would be perfect. If your teen loves creating handmade art, an online art business would be ideal. If your teen loves fashion and clothing, running an online store or small boutique would be a great fit.

Being an entrepreneur doesn't require a college degree, but obtaining a business degree wouldn't hurt, either. Running a small business also allows for community engagement. It requires making connections with others in an entrepreneur's respective town or city, meeting with and securing clients, and spreading a positive word about the business within the community.

If your teen wants a career that involves community engagement, consider their passions, interests, talents, and abilities. Help them brainstorm what career would best fit their personality, and consider the professional education required for the job they want to pursue. Allow your teen to explore their options so they can find and pursue a career they'll love.

Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn't lost in a book or writing, she's busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.

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