For many young adults, choosing which direction to take after high school can feel discouraging, if not impossible. Ought to I pursue any study? Which education provider do I choose? Which course is right for me? Should I take some time out?
The path to your dream career may be fraught with challenges and setbacks, but there are several things you can do to keep on track. Use the following tips to assist get your career compass pointing within the right direction.
1. Know Yourself
Taking the time to carefully assess your interests, aptitudes and personality type goes a long way towards identifying your potential.
Conducting some kind of self-assessment may be a very important initiative. This could take the form of a questionnaire, career personality test, or psychometric indicator like the Myers-Briggs test.
Pinpointing your personality type and nutting out your strengths and weaknesses can go an extended manner towards ensuring you depart within the right direction.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Conceding defeat will be tough, not to mention discouraging, but now isn’t the time for pride. Your future is at stake!
Sourcing some first-hand trade data can assist you decide how realistic your job prospects are, expose the hidden perks, and open your eyes to new possibilities.
Most high colleges and schools provide a career steerage service, so this should be your 1st stop. f possible, make a booking to see an adviser one-on-one. After assessing your general aptitudes and ambitions, you’ll lean a lot of tailored recommendation on your shortlisted options: what the job market is like, salary, potential for growth, stability, hours, work–life balance and qualification needs.
Attend tertiary education expos and information evenings, subscribe to career advice blogs and RSS feeds, chat with family and friends – get your hands on recommendation, tips and trade insight in any manner you can!
You’ve just spent the last twelve or thirteen years of your life in school – no one might blame you for declaring a full-scale ban on academia. In some cases, however, the only way to find out whether you’re cut out for a particular career is by dipping your toes in the water. Whether this means doing some extreme Googling, enrolling in a MOOCs course or taking the plunge and heading straight to university is up to you.
Resist the tendency to feel pigeonholed by your choices. If it happens that you arrive part-way through your course and realize it’s just not for you, there are several options for transferring or deferring your studies, and many unis offer recognition of prior learning as credit towards future learning. Think of further study as broadening your horizons, not as boxing you in!
4. Prepare a professional resume
Ensuring that your credentials are up-to-date might mean the distinction between securing a last-minute internship or landing a vacation bar job in Mumbai – you never know when they’ll come in handy!
If this is the first time you’ve prepared a resume, don’t fret. There are plenty of online resources out there that can help you navigate the basics of resume and cover letter preparation.
5. Follow your heart… or don’t
It’s that age-old dilemma in love and life – to follow your heart, or to use your head. Do you pursue a path based on your passions and interests, or does one option for a ‘practical’ job path that provides reliable career and salary prospects?
There’s no easy solution to this common problem. But, let’s face it – if you do decide to pursue a career you don’t enjoy simply because of ‘practical’ concerns or parental expectations, you’re setting yourself up for unhappiness, or perhaps a mid-career meltdown.
Always keep your choices open; life after college doesn’t have to mean stepping out of the classroom and into the lecture theater. If your heart just isn’t drawn to the idea of any study, then consider alternatives like apprenticeships, vocational training or even a gap year.
Whatever your decision, bear in mind that most people change career paths up to five times during their lifetime, so recalibrating your professional direction is not unusual and can make for an even more interesting journey!
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