Middle School Counseling Services
Middle school is a time of exploration. Students are in a period of physical, personal, and social change. As adults, we can use this naturally occurring "cycle of change" to provide them with opportunities to explore various disciplines before having to focus on high school graduation requirements. Elective choices in middle school give students the opportunity to experience other subjects which may be of interest to them. An elective choice of today may become a career of tomorrow.
In addition, middle school students need our help in understanding that they do have choices and that each choice is a branch that may lead toward or away from their goal. Below is decision-making guide which can help parents guide their child/ren in their middle school career exploration. It is based on the FCPS Career Connections website.
STUDENT DECISION-MAKING PROCESS ( AND RESOURCES )
What Do You Plan To Do With Your Life?
Choosing a post-high school pathway is a decision-making process. The effectiveness of your decision making relies heavily on the information available to you. Planning for life requires understanding self , exploring occupations , making decisions, and acquiring work skills. In addition to using the steps listed below, use the career decision-making resources.
STEP ONE: Identify your Goal
Think about what you want to achieve and state that as your goal. Some decisions you might be facing could include:
- What do I need to do in middle school to prepare for the next phase of my life?
- Where do I want to be next year/in high school/after high school and what is the best way to get there?
STEP TWO: Know Yourself ( Self Assessment )
What makes you YOU? Self-knowledge is a life long journey. To get started, use the resources available through
to explore your skills, interests, values, personality, and dreams. The log-in information for LBSS students: log on to FCPS 24/7 and go to the LBSS Student Resource Center under the Community Tab.
STEP THREE: Gather Information and Data
- Visit your counseling office , library, and the Internet.
- Network. Take advantage of parents, staff, relatives, family friends, and community members to find out more about their careers.
- Choose your electives wisely; they may become the basis of your career
- Seek out learning through experience opportunities (e.g., volunteer, job shadow).
STEP FOUR: Identify Options-Do I Want To...
- Go to college
- Go into the military
- Start my own business or work for someone else
- Obtain an internship/apprenticeship to give me On-the-Job training
STEP FIVE: Evaluate Your Options and Make a Decision
Identify the pros and cons of each alternative by asking yourself:
- Will I feel good about this choice? How will my parents feel about it?
- Will certain risks be involved? Am I willing to take such risks?
- Will it be satisfying for me? How will I feel about this choice five years from now?
- What will be the probable future consequences of selecting each option?
STEP SIX: Design a Course of Action to Implement Your Decision
Having chosen one of the options, you can now begin developing and implementing a plan of action.
- Identify steps and resources needed to implement your decision.
- Identify possible obstacles and create strategies to overcome them.
- Review your course of action and change directions if necessary. Remember not all career pathways are direct.
Decision making is a life long process. The more you contribute to the process the more likely it is you will meet with success.
Additional information for parents seeking to find information on career planning can be found at