Doctor? Lawyer? Electrician

Helping teens plan their future and decide what they want to be

It's the question we all get asked when we are a child- "What do you want to be when you grow up?" While we may have had an immediate answer back then- astronaut, police officer, doctor, pilot- as we start to choose subjects in high school, we find ourselves giving more serious thought to what we want to be in the future. But how do you decide what you want to do? In planning your future career path, you might like to consider the following.

  1. What do you love?
    A job is more than making money. Somebody once said "Choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." The idea behind this is that you will be having so much fun that it won't feel like work! While every job does have its ups and downs, be guided by what you love to do when planning your career. This doesn't even have to be very specific. For example, you might love being social and talking to people; you then might be happiest in a job that involves a lot of personal interaction such as sales. Whether you love reading, animals or maths, you can always find a job that fits with what it is that you enjoy doing.

  2. Get some feedback from the front line
    If you have some idea of what career path you would like to choose, it can often be a great help to talk someone who actually works in that job . They can give you a realistic picture of what it is really like to work in this field. Sometimes we have an idealistic view of a particular job. Talking to someone with experience in this job can clear things up and help you to decide whether this career path is really something you would like to pursue.

  3. Talk to your teacher or school counsellor
    The subjects you choose in high school can play a large and important role in the shaping of your career options further down the track. Your home group teacher or school counsellor will be able to provide some guidance as to the career paths that your subject choices open up. You can also find e-guides online about the subjects you choose at school and how they will affect any future applications for a particular job or college course.

  4. What are you good at?
    While this does often fit in with number 1 above, your career can get off to a great start if you choose a job that uses skills that you already excel in. For example if you are really good at making quick and accurate mathematical calculations, a career in accounting or financial services might be something you would consider. Being good at something from the start can be great for your confidence and less frustrating then trying to do something that is really 'not your thing'.

Remember: Your career is something that will develop and change. Just because you decide to pursue a particular job, it doesn't mean you have to stick with it forever if you realize that you would like to do something different.

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