5 ways to get thinking about a future career

It can sometimes feel overwhelming and difficult to try and decide what career path is right for you, especially when there are lots of jobs out there that you might not know much about.

However, it’s important to start thinking about your aspirations early and where you see yourself in the future, because the earlier you have an idea of what you want to do, the more prepared you can be.  We know it’s easier said than done, so we’ve come up with some tips to help you start thinking about what you might like to do.

  1. Where do you see yourself in in five, ten or even twenty years’ time?
  2. What type of job are you expecting to have? What qualifications and experience will you need to get that job? Asking yourself these questions will help you identify any misalignments between your expectations and reality and get yourself thinking pragmatically.

  3. List the things you enjoy doing the most
  4. What have you got a passion for? If you really don’t know what career is right for you, looking at what you truly enjoy is arguably the best place to start. Once you’ve thought about what you love, list your strengths. There will be certain things you’re naturally talented at. (Though it might not feel so natural to talk about what you’re good at!) It could be anything from coming up with creative ideas to excelling at a certain sport or activity or solving complex problems. Chatting about it with your parents (or another adult) could also be helpful, because many of us aren’t aware of our own talents... and your parents know you better than anyone. If you combined your skills and what you enjoy the most, what would that job look like?

  5. Use a Careers Advice Service
  6. If you have a pretty good idea of your skills and interests already, look at using a Careers Advice service. There might be one available at your school or college or your local job centre.  You can also find them online. Having a chat with a Careers Advisor could open new doors for you, since there are lots of job roles out there that you might not have even considered.

  7. Do you or your parents know someone in a career you’re considering?
  8. If so, could you chat to them about their experience and how they got into their career?  This is a golden opportunity for you to get an honest and realistic view of what that job looks like day-to-day and what it takes to get there.

  9. Once you’ve got some ideas up your sleeve, test them out!
  10. Work experience and summer internships are always well-regarded by employers, and they’re a great way for you to develop new skills, build up your CV, and of course find out what a job is really like in practice.  It’s often difficult to truly understand if a job is right for you until you’ve done it, so trying a few things out is usually a good idea.

    Once you feel you’ve got something to aim for, it’s going to be a lot easier to start preparing for and shaping your future.

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