Whether you are studying for your GCSEs or doing A-levels you will probably have noticed people asking you what you want to do for a job. Up until now you may not have given it much consideration, as you worked your way through each school year perhaps it was something that you thought would just come to you at some point when you were ‘older.’ But, now that decision time is drawing closer you may find that you are one of many young people who just doesn’t know what they want to do ‘when you grow up.’ How are you supposed to even decide what you want to ‘be’ when you don’t even know what your options are? Surely there are loads of different careers that you don’t even know exist – so how are you supposed to decide which career is best for you?
- What You Don’t Want To Do
You will probably find that you have a better idea of what you DON’T want to do than what career you would like. You may feel that a career in horticulture may not sit well with your hay-fever, or perhaps you want to avoid anything to do with heights! While this may not seem like it is doing much to help you decide what career to take, knowing what you don’t want can be a good first step to deciding what you do want. When you think of jobs you might not like, think why this is and write that down. So, if you don’t fancy being a brick-layer, ask yourself why is this? Is it because of the physical side of the job, for example, or is it because you don’t want to work outside? Once you have compiled a list of the things you don’t like it is time to use it to start thinking about things you do like!
- Things You Like
Taking the list of things you don’t like you can begin to look at what you might want to do in your career. Don’t worry about starting with broad areas – do you want to work inside, for example? Think about the subjects you like at school as well as any interests or hobbies. Could these translate to a career? Using things that you like as a basis for your career goals is a good idea, as it will mean that you are more likely to find a job that you will enjoy as well as working in area that you are likely to put in the right effort and be good at. After all, if you didn’t like maths, there isn’t much chance that you will enjoy working as an economist!
- What You Need
There will be certain things that you will want from your career too – and not just a wage! Of course, it is important to think about how much you will get paid for your work, but for some this is less of an issue than it is for others. Some people will see the salary as the most important consideration when choosing a career, while others will see things like helping others or doing something positive as being important. You may feel that the working environment is important to you, so may begin to decide whether you would be suited to working for a large or a small employer. Think about the things you need or want from your work and let these guide your career choice too.
- Get Some Advice
Once you have worked out what you want from your work, and the sort of things you would be interested and best suited to doing, you can get some advice. The more information you can provide the easier it will be for a careers advisor to tell you what may be a good choice for your career. Use any resources that are available to you through school or college or look online, perhaps getting some inspiration for your career right here at NotGoingtoUni! Of course, you will want to speak with your parents or teachers too, but it is always a good idea to get some independent advice too, from someone who won’t come with their own ideas about who you are. You might be able to find some inspiration for your career by searching for apprenticeships by location or industry – even if you are not considering an apprenticeship, it will give you an idea of what opportunities are available where you live.
- There Is No ‘Right’ Choice
These days, people change careers more frequently than they did in the past, meaning that your first choice of job is unlikely to be the one where you retire. People get promoted, move sideways to different departments, start their own businesses, or even decide to change careers altogether. As you get older your ideas and interests may alter alongside your priorities, and this can lead to a change of direction in life and your work. Whatever you choose now, just remember that it needn’t be forever and you can always work out how to switch careers later if you want to.