career exploration

  • BetterCareerPlanningBetterLife

    Every college senior will tell you the clock was ticking in high school! Most adults reflect back on their high school years and early years of college and wish they had taken career exploration more seriously. But who can blame them? High School Student Career Exploratoin Program OutlineWhat the high schools are offering is, well, of little true help, and for some, we've been told, what was provided in high school was misleading or even damaging.

    What most college career services centers offer is, something less than effective as well. In fact, the #1 value of a college career services center is the student-employer coordination for getting that first job upon graduation - not helping you determine best career options. And they certainly don't want you to second guess your choice of colleges.

    Some universities are pretty good (within certain colleges or disciplines) at helping students find internships and co-ops and that all elusive job upon graduating. But when it comes to effective career exploration coaching, most are decades behind the science. Add to the fact that most of the staffers in the career center are graduate students who haven't actually been out in the non-academic work world much and you have the makings for a mediocre career coaching experience.

    Career Coaching for Students is a program offered for both families and education institutions.

    The Career Coaching for Students™ Program 
    for high school students includes:

    • Step-by-step student career exploration guide and organizer
    • Personal Talent Insights assessment and 60+ page report and personal talent-to-career insights debriefing
    • Six hours (3 sessions) debriefing of the assessments and program support by a certified career coach
    • Extensive online resources for research (Student Resource Central™)
    • Life Skills for Students™ - 21st Century skills development e-learning library

    How it works

    1. Purchase the program using the shopping cart below

    2. Receive an automatic email with instructions for taking the assessments

    3. Look for your guidebook (binder) in the mail (or provided at your first meeting if a face-to-face program has been coordinated with your assigned career coach)

    4. Schedule your assessment debriefing. All coaching sessions are conducted by online webinar-style unless otherwise arranged. The debriefing can be delivered in two sessions if desired. Parents of high school students are encouraged to participate in the debriefing.

    We work to produce the wow factor for our clients. If you are not fully satisfied with this program, we'll refund the entire cost.

    Ready to get started?

    High School Student $695 
    Buy the high school package
  • There are many inspirational videos on YouTube and other sites on the Internet. We posted a few on our home page that we hope you've seen. Many movies have positive messages as well.

    Successful people are usually very willing to share what they've learned with young people (see Step 13 - 15 in the HS guidebook, Step 13/14 and 17/18 in the College version). By talking with people in your career of interest, you'll find that EVERY successful person has experienced profound adversity at some point in their life.

    Below are a few videos we found to be fun to watch and on point to different messages that will be relevant now or in your future.
    Schedule a call Some, like Barney Stinson, are a little tongue-in-cheek humor while others have important take-aways based on many years of experience by many people. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. which video is your favorite.

    Have questions? Want a private conference call with Carl Nielson, the creator of Career Coaching for Students? Schedule an appointment by tapping on the phone graphic to the right.

    If You've Never Failed, You've Never Lived 

    An engaging classic video short that makes a critically important point for students.

    Barney Stinson on Success

    Source: "How I Met Your Mother"; Season 4, Episode 14 - The Possimpable Description: The Legen - wait for it... Dary! Video CV of Barney Stinson (Aka: Neil Patrick Harris). Directed by Michael Bay.

    Jullien Gordon speaks at TEDx on How to Graduate with a Job You Love and Less Debt

    The former, linear model of success is obsolete. Students are not getting the return on education investments that they did just 1 decade ago. Jullien Gordon helps this new generation realize their full potential by identifying four types of capital that blend work in harmony. The need for balance between book smarts and street smarts is more crucial than ever. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

    Daniel Seddiqui: 50 Jobs in 50 States

    CEO and Founder of Living the Map "Semester of Careers" and author of upcoming book "50 Jobs in 50 States," Daniel Seddiqui confronted head-on the recent economical challenges and embarked on the journey of his life. Living The Map is the story of a man helping Americans understand each other and making us aware of opportunities that exist in the United States.

    Surf Instructor, Rodeo Announcer, Model, and Marine Biologist? How does one young graduate from a top university go from having no job to having 50 different jobs, in 50 states - all in 50 weeks?

    Success is Not Related to Education by Dave Ramsey

    Dave Ramsey discusses financial management responsibility and student loans.

    Jon Van Achen, What Will You Do With Your Future? - In December 2009, Jon Van Achen spoke before a large group of global business professionals and entrepreneurs. His topic was, How to Create Your Best Year Ever. On that day, he ended by sharing a video to summarize the highlights of what had been taught. His hope is that this video encourages you as well. Share this video with anyone you know who needs a bit of encouragement and inspiration in these challenging times! It might make a difference in their day . . . and maybe, just maybe . . . their whole year.  

    What Do People Live For? DECIDE to Act!

     We all must make a decision to act when pursuing our dreams.  

    Jason McElway: Special Gifts of Inspiring Others

    Jason Mcelwain is an autistic basketball player. He has an incredible passion for basketball, but hindered by his autism, Jason becomes team manager of the varsity team. Before the final home game of his senior year, the coach lets Jason know he will hopefully put him in. So all of his family and most of the school attends the game. With 4 minutes to go it happens. The coach calls out Jason to sub in. Jason ends up making an incredible six 3-pointers and one 2-pointer much to the delight of the whole gym - especially his coach. He finishes with 20 points. After the final buzzer, Jason is carried off on his school-mates shoulders. 

    Where is Matt (global harmony)? Back my new video on Kickstarter! Put # and then your city and country/state in your comment so I know where you're from.#Seattle, Washington Download the video to your computer/tablet/phone: Facebook: Twitter: "Trip the Light" on iTunes: Vocals by Alicia Lemke of Alice and the Glass Lake 

    Steve Jobs: Stanford Commencement Speech 2005: The Reality of Success in Life

    Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself-- at Stanford University's 114th Commencement on Sunday in Stanford Stadium. Stanford University: 

    Al Pacino Inspirational Speech

    AL Pacino gives a speech to his team in Any Given Sunday before their last game 

    Inspirational Speech: Rocky Balboa (2006)

    Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that! 

    Just Do It


    Why you will fail to have a great career

    Throughout his three-decade career at the University of Waterloo, Larry Smith has inspired legions of students to take up the mantle of economics with his passionate and homespun tales of economic wizardry. A renowned story-teller, teacher and youth leadership champion, Larry has also coached and mentored countless numbers of students on start-up business management and career development strategies.

    Having taught introductory microeconomics, macroeconomics and entrepreneurship classes, he recently celebrated assigning his 29,000th grade earlier this year.

    Recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, Larry has also coached several of his former students to help them position and develop their businesses, the most famous of which is Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the revolutionary BlackBerry wireless mobile smartphone. Larry also sits on the advisory panels of start-ups to provide his guidance on financing and negotiation with investors and venture capitalists.


    Jack Canfield: Choosing a Career 


    8 to Be Great, Richard St. John 


    A Pep Talk from Kid President to You by soulpancake 


    TED Talk on Body Language, Testosterone, and Fake it Till You Are It, by Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are


    What If Money Were No Object? Presented by TragedyandHope 


    Create the Future You Imagine by EOAlchemy


    [Humor] The Origin of Job Interviews - BBC: The Armstrong and Miller Show


    [LinkedIn on Career Pursuit] If You Can Dream It You Can Accomplish It


  • Tap here to sign our guestbook and get free stuffFind us on Facebook too! Like us using the icon at top left of this page.
    Student career exploration, choose a major, choose a career, career plan, career development, student career counseling, career test for students

    "We partner with students
    using a 21st Century career exploration strategy
    to find their mojo and design a roadmap
    for meaningfulness and success." Carl Nielson

    We recommend the high school program for students in 8th grade through 12th grade.

    We recommend the college program for students who have graduated high school, are currently in college or have recently graduated college.

    Take advantage of the "quick links" below or in the left "Main Menu". You are also invited to schedule a private Q&A conference call with career coach Carl Nielson, the creator of the program and Chief Discovery Officer of Success Discoveries by tapping on the telephone graphic on the right.Schedule time with Carl Nielson

    Client Testimonials

    I just wanted to say that that was outstanding. My son TOTALLY resonated with everything you had to say and obviously had a few things to say himself ;-) This is the most excited I've seen him in a long while. It touches my heart how you can really "see" these kids for who they are and make such a positive impact on their self esteem in such a short amount of time.
    Mom on the west coast about her 9th grade son, 2017.

    "My 9th grader (incoming, starting high school next semester), attended the Career Coaching for Students program as a "can't hurt" attitude on my part when I signed up my older son,  an incoming junior. My older son is doing great in college and very clear in his career direction. He really liked the program and felt it helped alot. My younger son really grabbed on to the program's teachings - more than I ever thought possible. He is now entering his junior year and has taken full advantage of so many things that came out of the program. But the affirmation and confidence he received was I think the most valuable part. So many good things about this program. All I can say is every 9th grader should have access to this program." Mom in the North Texas area   

    "I wanted to touch base with you. I've just completed my undergraduate program. I wanted to thank you for the career coaching program I attended during my senior year of HS. As I told Tommy Carrington (co-Facilitator) already, I think that course really helped me to restructure my approach to higher education and working life with a focus on long-term goals and personal investment. It has made a big difference.

    Chris C.,Past attendee (a High School Student at the time) graduating from college

    "This is incredible and extremely insightful. This is not at all what I was provided in high school." 
    Sydney H.,Sophomore College Student

    "This is a must for every student regardless of academic achievement. Very motivational. Excellent and worthwhile!"
    Mother of 4 kids, all have completed the program, all are academic high acheivers

    Career Coaching for StudentsTM is the leading career exploration and planning program that takes a proven approach to coaching students:

    • Assessing your "talent", resulting in greater self-awareness of strengths and passions
    • Understanding the value of personal strengths in different career choices 
    • Identifying high-potential career options that align with your talent
    • Establishing tangible, meaningful personal goals
    • Leveraging the power of networking to help the student achieve their goals
    • Investigating high-potential career areas of interest beyond the typical surface analysis
    • Choosing a major and finding summer internships that align with a career interest

    CCfS_BuyitNow_buttonHSDetail198x198 college student career advice
    Student Career Assessment and Planning Guide for Family/Self Directed CCfS offers turnkey programs for institutions and community partnership programs
    Find a CCfS Career Coach/Instructor Near You Check out our top ten list of motivational videos

    Jullien Gordon speaks On Generation Why at YOUTH TEDxMIDWEST

    Parents, please sign our Guestbook...tap here to receive a free parent talent assessment.

    Career Coaching for StudentsTM reduces the risk of failure and increases the risk of incredible success and happiness.

    The Career Coaching for Students program employs assessments developed
    by TTI Success Insights, the world leader in the science of self.

    TTI Success Insights, Experts in the Science of Self

    Tap on the diamond to learn more about the science of self and TTI.


    Tap here to hear what leading coaches have to say about these assessments.


    TTI Assessment Testimonials


    Tap here for a Program Steps Overview 
    Best-Practice Student Career Planning Slideshare Presentation

    Tap hyperlink above, tap full screen, › page through slides to learn about steps to student career and college major decision making

    From Carol Christen, author ofWhat Color Is Your Parachute? For Teens
    "You won't generally find "How to choose a career" among high school or college classes. Young people still have to figure it out on their own."
    "Carl, That's an excellent visual explanation of career development. Kudos! If parents and teens who see your graphic don't get the idea that developing a career is more than the idea to go to college, nothing will get through."

    Why Career Coaching for Students™ is for every student!

    In an ideal world, we would surely have every 9th grade student complete this program. The question, "If not in 9th grade, when?" has been debated by career coaching professionals, teachers, professors and parents for decades. Our experience tells us, if not in 9th grade then "immediately". Prior to 9th grade is too early for this program, however, 6th - 8th graders are encouraged to explore careers using the Student Resource Central meta-site of career exploration resources for students.   

    • Help students envision a future that is productive, achievable, and stimulating.
    • Provide the framework for helping students learn to project into the future and understand the consequences of today’s choices and actions.
    • Expose students to potential stumbling blocks that could impede their success
    • Help students develop resiliency skills and attitudes required for a productive transition into adulthood.
    • Help students become identity-achieved, a necessary developmental process for all adolescents.  
    • Provide practice in the communication and interpersonal skills required for career and personal success.
    • Facilitate students’ recognition of the value of education and the importance of becoming internally motivated to succeed in school.
    • Motivate students to challenge themselves and strive for higher achievement.
    • Help students understand how education, training, and career choice will impact their personal lifestyle.
    • Motivate students to apply themselves, because once they understand how core subjects (e.g., reading, writing, speaking, computing) impact their success in a desired future, academic achievement will increase.
    • Teach a life and career planning “process,” so students can continually adjust their plans throughout their education and adult life.
    • Help students become “career focused,” so every student is prepared to enter the workforce upon completion of their education.
    • Facilitate the development of a personalized ten-year plan that matches each student’s career aspirations.
    • Teach students the life skills, aptitudes, and key qualities needed to successfully transition into post-secondary education and/or training, the workforce, and adulthood.


    For High School Students, Job Shadowing Can Be Critical to Choosing a Career

    Our coaches provide assistance to the family in securing job shadowing opportunities for the student. See a student testimonial below. Before that happens there are a few things for the student to do which we facilitate as part of the program.

    HS Student Testimonial: I just got home from shadowing [a person in my career interest]. Thank you so much for hooking me up with this place! I loved it, I talked to [your contact] and she set me up with one of their directors and I enjoyed every minute. It opened my eyes to the world of advertisement! An art director for an advertisement agency basically gets information from the client of what they want the advertisement to be about and they work with that. They basically create the idea of the advertisement. I found it so interesting because there is so much art and design put into advertising which makes it so cool! They're also always getting new projects from their different clients so they're never doing the same thing. I learned a ton of information on advertising and I now have people who I can contact there and ask questions if I need to. Thank you again for setting me up with [your contact], that was a HUGE help!

    Sincerely, Will, Ohio               

    What is a career coach?

    • A coach is a facilitator to a process, a guide, a helper, a supporter, an encourager, a partner.
    • Coaching is about being an ally, making the process of career exploration easier so the student is able to realize their own ideas, goals and decisions much sooner than if left on their own.
    • A coach is NOT an enforcer, dictator or director.

    Most commonly heard statement from parents whose teens attended the Career Coaching for Students program:
    "I wish I had this when I was in high school"

    Career Coaching for Students can reduce drop out rates, increase college attendance rates and reduce the chances of changing majors and delaying college graduation.

    FAQs addressed in the Career Coaching for Students program:

    From parents: From students:
    How do I inspire my teenager to think about and engage in a future, not just the moment at hand? Besides income considerations, what should I think about when considering a career?
    How do I guide my teenager without imposing my own goals and dreams? How do I choose a college that best supports my career interests?
    How do I help my teenager deal with the apprehension about their next stage in life? What questions do I need to ask myself -and answer- to identify and explore my passions and potential career choices?
    How do I parent while leaving the final choice in the college selection process to my teenager? What needs to be my top priorities for choosing a college? How do I find the best college choices for me without spending a lot of time?
    What activities can my teenager do at home or over the summer to support a career interest? How will I know a career is right for me? How can I talk to someone in that career interest? How can I find a job-shadowing opportunity to learn more about a career interest? What questions should I be asking if given the opportunity to talk with someone in a career interest?
    How do I find financial aid and scholarships? What is FAFSA and why do I need to know about it? How do I shift from a feeling of "walking blind" and uncertainty to confidence and faith that I'm doing the right thing and feeling I'm in control of my own destiny?
    How do we avoid thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses/loans? How do I avoid changing majors several times and adding extra semesters (and thousands of dollars in college expenses) in college?
    How do I significantly increase the odds that my son/daughter will find happiness and success? How do I find happiness and success? How do I confidently select a career path and an educational path that will be the best for me?


    Parents, please sign our Guestbook...tap here and get:

    Free Parent Talent Assessment (same assessment we use with the students) 

    White Paper: "What Would You Tell a Teenager" 

    Find out what 80+ professionals and coaches said when asked the burning question, "What would you say if a teenager asked: What is the key to success in life?"

    The evidence and costly impact of typical school-provided career counseling is found in the statistics:
    • The average U.S. college student changes majors at least once
    • Studies show as many as 50% of students change majors 3 times
    • Over 40% of incoming freshmen in most universities enter as "undeclared in their major - and academic advisors say "that is ok".
    • Most college students take 5 years to graduate strictly due to changing majors
    • Extra semesters result in thousands of dollars of avoidable expense per student
    • Average college student faces a whopping $19,000 of student loans
    • Studies show 40% - 65% of adults are unhappy in their current job - an unfortunate path that is set during school