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Plan Your Career
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What Motivates You?

Think about a time when you were motivated to do something because it felt good, (inner motivator) or someone said you should, or someone else was doing it (outer motivators).

How did it work out? How did it feel?

Consider what might be motivating the career choices of the students in these videos:

Career Inspirations: Popular Music (2:16)

Adam and Connor enjoy music and want to turn it into a career. Watch as they learn about the related occupations and education that will allow them to do that.

Career Inspirations: Cooking (2:34)

Yasmin enjoys cooking and baking. Watch her explore related educational and career options related to food, including apprenticeship as a cook or baker.

High School Students With a Dream: Becoming a Journalist (6:37)

Kyrsty dreams of being a journalist. At first, her family was concerned that her disability might get in the way. But, as she planned her transition from high school and talked about her disability, it became clear that adaptive technology at school and work could help make her dream a reality.,  

High School Students with a Dream: Helping Kids With Disabilities (6:32)

As a student with a disability, Vicky has learned how to be a strong advocate for herself. As she and her family plan her transition from high school, she's exploring how she can help others, perhaps as a psychologist or social worker.

Exploring Career Paths: Sports (2:55)

Tim is interested in a career in sports. Watch as his passion for soccer leads him to explore career options across a wide range of different sports.

Exploring Career Paths: Combining Arts and Sciences (3:30)

Lindsay is interested in pursuing a career that combines both arts and science. She's leaning toward anaplastology, a type of specialized medicine. Watch as she uses techniques like volunteering and job shadowing to explore her unique combination of interests.

Post-Secondary Success Stories: Diploma in Disability Studies (2:59)

Mark is leveraging his own life experience to pursue a diploma in disability studies. Learn about his experiences in residence and the work he completed overseas for his international practicum.

Post-Secondary Success Stories: Graduate Student and Community Advocate (2:25)

Kim is a graduate student with a learning disability. With the help of assistive technology and access to post-secondary funding, she's becoming a strong advocate for her community.

Distinguish between inner and outer motivators 

When you’re hungry, you’re motivated to eat. When you feel good about something you’ve done, you’re motivated to do it again. These are inner motivators.

When you’re hungry or you’re feeling good about something you’ve done, what other people think about your decision may not influence you very much. You are born highly motivated to eat. You learn to be motivated by feeling good about something you’ve done.

None of us are born wanting to make a lot of money. Or to become a rock star. Or to save the planet. Money, applause, and saving the planet are outer motivators.

You may learn to place a high value on these things. Or you may not.

Take a close look at your inner motivators when making decisions about your future.

Inner motivators:  

  • Tend to last
  • Move you to make music even when there’s no applause
  • Move you to make planet-friendly choices even when no one else does
  • Can fade away when replaced by outer motivators. For example, you can create a successful environmentally friendly business, then find yourself compromising your standards to maintain your profit margin.

Outer motivators

Outer motivators can take away your control over your choices. For example, you can boost your music career by signing with a major label but then lose control over your creative choices because you must meet the label’s demands.

What’s motivating you today?

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