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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Finding a career that's right for you

Some people know what job they want to do from an early age. For others it’s not so simple. Choosing a career is a big decision, but don’t be intimidated. There’s plenty of help available to help you find the career that’s right for you.

What type of career would suit you?

A good way to start your planning is to think about what motivates you as a person.

Make a list of activities you’ve enjoyed - both inside and outside school, college or work. What was it about them you liked? There are no right or wrong answers – but, for example, you might find that you enjoyed:

  • getting to know more about a particular subject
  • solving challenging problems
  • working as part of a team
  • meeting new people

Once you’ve got a clear idea of your interests, the next step is to start looking for a career that matches up with them. The National Careers Service website has information on a huge range of careers, organised into 'job areas'.

Planning your career

Finding a rewarding career is important to most people - and it takes a little planning.

There’s always room to change your mind, but having a plan will:

  • make sure you’re aware of all the routes into your dream career
  • help you avoid ending up in a job you don’t like
  • make sure you know what you need to do at different stages in your life

There’s plenty to consider before you’re ready to put your plans into action – including how to get the skills and qualifications you’ll need.

Help planning your career

Advice is vital to give you the best possible chance of getting into the career you want.

Advice through school or college

Teachers and lecturers will have a good idea of what you can do with the subjects you’re studying. But they only see what you’re like at school or college, and this might not be the whole story.

For example, you may be quiet in the classroom but spend your spare time producing podcasts or working on hospital radio. If this is the case, there’s nothing to stop you pursuing a career in radio.

It’s worth getting advice from other sources as well: most schools and colleges offer careers lessons and/or a careers service.

You can also talk to a Careers Adviser.

If you’re in higher education

You can get advice on your options after graduation from your university or college careers office, and there’s plenty of information available through the Prospects service.

Advice from family and friends

It can be useful to get advice from the people who know you best, but they won’t always know a lot about the career you’re interested in.

Remember – it’s your career. You know what you’re good at and you know what you want to do. Don’t be put off if your dream career means taking a different direction from friends and family.

Additional links

Careers Advisers are here to help

If you're aged 13-19 you can contact a Careers Adviser for information, advice and support on a range of issues affecting young people

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