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Can I have a career someday?

This letter writer dropped out of high school and his parents aren’t around much, but now he’s looking for a way forward. 

It’s never too late, says our elder. Start by getting a GED. 

 

Dear EWC

I’m 18 years old. I have yet to get a license. I’m kind of lost on getting a job. I didn’t graduate and in fact dropped out of high school.l I live with my mom but she isn’t around much and sometimes even for days. I don’t blame my parents for my mistakes; I just wish they were around to help me a bit. I messed up a lot growing up and now I see the consequences of my actions. I’m not sure how to go about fixing my life to a point where I can maybe have a career someday. I really need some advice on what steps I should take next. Thanks again for reading and thanks even more for taking the time to respond if you choose to do so. 

 

KayKay replies

It’s never too late. I suggest that you start by getting a GED (a Generalized Education Diploma or a General Equivalent Diploma). The GED consists of the GED test and the GED credential. The GED test includes exams on four different topics, including math, reasoning through language arts, science, and social studies. If these subjects sound familiar, it’s because high school students encounter them every day in the classroom. In fact, if you’ve attended high school through junior year, you should feel pretty confident about your ability to study for and pass the GED exam.

Once you pass all four exams on the GED test, you’ve earned your GED credential. This credential serves as a diploma showing you have a 12-grade level knowledge base – even if you didn’t graduate from a traditional high school.

More than 98 percent of schools in the United States accept the GED, including community colleges, universities, and private schools. Couple your GED with a good SAT or ACT score, and you’ll have an excellent chance of getting into any school you wish.

If you’re ready to dive straight into the workforce, the GED is a great option in that area too. Employers view the GED as equal to a high school diploma, so you shouldn’t have trouble applying for jobs – as long as you have the skills and experience necessary for the position. And, earning a GED also has the potential to boost your earnings significantly. Many GED graduates go on to make $9,000 more per year than those without a high school diploma.

I suggest that you Google GED and search for places near you that offer classes to help you prepare for these tests. The sooner you enroll, the better before you have a chance to forget everything you’ve learned in school.

I recommend, also, that you get a part-time job anywhere that you can – it doesn’t matter where. This will give you some experience in working with people and learning how to handle responsibility. A job can be a possible stepping stone to other employment later and it will help you build a resume (a list of your abilities and accomplishments that you provide to a prospective college or employer in the future).

If you do not have a driver’s license, that would be recommended as well, because at some point you will need transportation. If you are good at fixing things, you might do well to work in a garage and learn how to maintain a car. 

After getting your GED, perhaps you will get an idea of what kind of career you would like. There are tests available to assess your interests. Check out a local community college for guidance. Get their catalog and look through it to see what is offered. There are so many practical courses that will prepare you for pretty much any job you would be interested in.

You may not have had the involved parenting that you wished for, but you are showing incentive by writing to us at the Elder Wisdom Circle. We can help guide you and answer questions along the way. Have faith in yourself and take it one small step at a time. You can do it because you have the spark! Don’t give up. 

Article #: 480509

Category: Career

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