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Career Planning Course: How to Find Your Path to Doing the Work You Love Review by Renee Knoblauch

AskDrCallahan
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Deciding what you want to do as a career is a huge decision in life. How often do you see students go into college and change their majors because they realize that this is not the career they want to spend forty hours a week doing? What if you could have a job that you love and get paid for it?

Career Planning Course: How to Find Your Path to Doing the Work You Love from AskDrCallahan will help you find out what career is unique for you and hopefully help you have joy and satisfaction in your future profession.

Homeschooling families can use this course as a homeschool high school elective. This one-semester course meets the requirement for a half credit on the student's transcript. Adults looking for a career change can also use this course.  AskDrCallahan provides lifetime access to the course. Requirements include access to the internet and either a journal or a notebook.

Career Planning Course: How to Find Your Path to Doing the Work You Love approaches career planning courses differently than similar career programs. It does not have you take an online assessment test to measure your attitudes, personality, values, abilities, or interests. We felt that this was a good thing because the assessments put you in a typical stereotype career. The evaluation here is unique and not quarried from a set of predetermined careers based on multiple-choice questions. In this course, students brainstorm what types of hobbies they like. They explore other things that they like and love. It goes beyond self-discovery and helps students connect with others in a profession they may want to spend the rest of their lives doing.

After signing up for the course, students will receive an email with instructions to enroll and start. The dashboard displays all fourteen lessons. Each lesson may have just one or several videos. Most of the videos are no longer than ten minutes except for a few twenty-minute videos. Dr. Callahan teaches all the lessons. Underneath the videos, you have text that gives you an overview of the class. In each lesson, you will also have examples, resources, assignments, and pro tips. The course lays out the tasks clearly and written out in steps. Once the student has finished the lesson, he will need to mark it as complete.  Students can go back over the lessons anytime. I recommend planning to complete one lesson a week. Some of the assignments will overlap with other assignments from other lessons.

Each lesson builds upon itself. At first, we wondered the purpose of some of the exercises and how they relate to figuring out your lifelong career. However, Dr. Callahan explains everything clearly; we found it interesting to listen to his lectures.

The course starts with brainstorming things you love to do, what careers interests you have, and then writing them in your journal. You will build on this and make it more concise throughout the course. It is unique as you think about topics like what photos you have on your phone, what you search for online, reading preferences, and topics you talk about with friends and family. He makes it more personalized to your likes and dislikes. You will have exercises to help you fine-tune your brainstorming exercises throughout. This includes people, places, and products. It seems like an odd mixture while career planning, but Dr. Callahan has his reason for this, and it makes sense when you see the whole picture of the course coming together. Eventually, it will have you look for patterns from your list, and he helps you narrow down the list that you started from the first lesson. By the end, your list and goals may be completely different than what you thought they would be.

You are encouraged to interview people who are in careers that might interest you. This may let you see the full scope of the daily work that is required for this job. In addition, this will hopefully allow you to see if this is the career path you are seeking.

Other assignments are how to utilize Google Search, LinkedIn, and Mastermind Groups fully. He explains why these tools are essential to you. He will walk you through setting up a LinkedIn account and adding connections. I also appreciate how he explains why LinkedIn is crucial and how it differs from a social media platform. He also shares the reasons why this is a helpful resource to consider for your future career.

Resources include joining a private Facebook group for the course where you have access to weekly live videos. Unfortunately, I do not have Facebook and was not able to view this resource. Additional resources include PDFs, videos, links for optional books, both free and paid, courses, articles, and outside video resources. Another resource is finding wise counsel to ask a question about their particular field. He helps you with a set of questions to ask when interviewing and connecting with and wise counsel. You could skip some of the exercises, but the more motivated you are throughout the lessons and a total commitment to the activities, the more you will glean from this resource.

Other resources are different career paths from colleges, online courses, trades, internships, and on-the-job training. Finally, he gives you information on how to investigate those career options.

The last few lessons start weaving everything together and setting goals and plans in place to achieve what you have discovered about your career path.

My son will be a freshman next year. He has been working through the course at a steady pace of around a lesson a week. He often finds himself going back over previous lessons since they build upon one another. He has enjoyed Dr. Callahan's lectures. I have watched all the classes and looked over the lessons. I feel that this is very doable and not unnecessary busywork.

Currently, he is reasonably sure he wants to in the architecture field. However, as a parent, I see many other talents that I think he would enjoy more. I want him to explore the pros and cons and come to his own conclusion. What a unique opportunity he has to explore and hopefully find pleasure and contentment in his chosen career.

-Product review by Renee Knoblauch, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2021

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