Some people might already know exactly what they want to do when they leave school, but if you’re not one of those people, don’t panic.
Even students at college and university can be undecided about what career they would eventually like to follow.
Don’t worry about having to make a final decision too soon as most people today will end up having several different careers in their lifetime.
Professional footballers and rugby players are good examples. They know that the time will come when they will be too old to play, so they plan their lives so that they can move on into business, coaching or other fields as they get older.
Your grandparents probably had only one type of job (or even one job) all their working lives. You, on the other hand, will probably work, re-train, change career, or do further study. You might even find yourself working in a different country.
So although it’s not vital that you decide once and for all what you want to do, it is important to have a range of skills that you can adapt to different jobs and workplaces. These are often called “transferable skills”.
Towards the end of your second year at school you have to make your Standard Grade choices, so you will have to start to think about what you might like to do career wise. Doing this will help you choose the right subjects to study.
This may seem a little bit scary, but don’t panic, it’s all designed in such a way that you cannot make any big mistakes by choosing the wrong subjects at this stage.
The Standard Grades you select will impact on the higher courses you will have the opportunity to study in senior years.
If you have any worries about subject choice, ask for help from your careers adviser or guidance teacher.
Following your interests and abilities is always a good start. Don’t limit your choice too much until you have checked out all the details.
Once you have got a clearer idea of your main work interest,s use your school careers library and the My World of Work website to get an idea of which subjects you need to take. This will also help you sort out details such as:
z Which jobs might fit your personality and interests.
z What age you need to be for certain jobs.
z What subjects and grades you may need.
z Where you can study for particular jobs.
z Who the employers are for those jobs.
z What kind of money you might earn.
z Whether there’s any special fitness requirements.
z How long any training will take.
z How to find the information you need
Whether you want to be an airline pilot, an artist, an in-flight attendant, a car mechanic, or a police officer, you can always start finding out more about what’s involved now.