June is fast approaching, which means many students, both high school and college, will be flipping their graduation cap tassels and bolting for the door-to their future, that is. Soon you will officially be on the move to a new life with all sorts of opportunities and challenges. Now's the time to fill up on mom's cooking (it's probably tastier than the stuff in the dining hall) and fuel up on your knowledge about different career choices. Step One: Visit www.njnextstop.org to read articles and personality profiles about people working in every type of job imaginable. Here's some insight into five unique careers worth exploring:
1. The Artist in You
Why not add a practical twist to your design endeavors with a career as a visual practitioner or graphic recorder. These creative types bring information and ideas to life visually. A graphic reporter will attend a business meeting and draw images on sheets of paper around the room to illustrate the ideas that the attendees are communicating. You need to be able to listen well, think fast, and draw creatively. Explore this fascinating career at the International Forum of Visual Practitioners, www.visualpractitioner.org.
2. Making Scents of Your Future
Did you know New Jersey is home to the flavor and fragrance industry? Big companies like Givaudan and Firmenich have offices here, where they make the tastes that go into Fido's pet food and the scents in Mom's kiwi strawberry candles. A perfumer has to have a sharp sense of smell and a love of the lab, where he or she mixes perfumes or fragrances from plant extracts, essential oils and resins. Think you've got a nose for the job? Find out more at the American Society of Perfumers, www.perfumers.org, or by visiting The Fragrance Foundation at www.fragrance.org.
3. The Blogosphere Awaits
Everyone wants a chatty, informative blog on their Websites these days. And while most blogs are designed to be personal publishing platforms, big companies like Stonyfield Farm have launched blog communities (in this case, "Cow"munities) to communicate with and relate to customers in a personal way. Blogging is a unique and fun type of writing, and professional business bloggers are in demand. You definitely need experience. Do some research at www.problogger.net.
4. Tiny Tech Jobs
High-tech types need to know nano-nanotechnology, that is. This is the art and science of working with materials on an atomic or molecular scale to build microscopic devices that are expected to transform entire industries. It's a very technical world (think microarrays and nanodevices) with jobs that require everything from two-year associates degrees on up to doctorates in areas like biology, chemistry and physics. The field is expected to employ 2 million workers worldwide by 2015. Check it out at www.nanostudent.com or www.nano.gov.
5. Have You Any Wool?
Sheep shearers travel the farm circuit and spend much of their days in barns and pastures working with sheep to remove their wool for sale. They either work independently or recruit, hire, train and supervise a crew of shearers. While you don't necessarily need a college degree for this line of work, you should have some familiarity with animal sciences, biology, business, math and computers. You get hands-on training through an apprenticeship with a skilled shearer. Learn more about this and other agriculture careers at www.jerseyageducation.nj.gov.