How to Choose a Career Whilst You’re at School

Do you know what career you want to pursue after school? Don’t be worried if you're not sure. Most students haven’t the foggiest idea what they want to be before they’ve taken their GCSEs.

Starting a career may seem like a long, long way away, but if you start thinking about it now, you’ll have a better idea when it comes to making decisions about your future.

Here are three questions that will help you select some options for possible careers to follow…

QUESTION #1  What's your favourite subject at school?

If you don’t have any career ideas, think about what subjects you enjoy most at school. What work excites you? What class do you look forward to the most?

Whether it’s English, Music or IT, all of the subjects you study are paths to an array of exciting careers. (It’s why you study them!)

Choose one or two of your favourite subjects, and research what jobs are associated with them. What sorts of careers do people go into when they have studied your favourite subject at university? You can also ask your teachers for ideas.

QUESTION #2  What are your interests outside of your studies?

What do you do with your free time outside of school? Your career choices don’t have to be defined by an academic subject. If you have a hobby or a passion that’s not related to your studies, why not make a career out of it?

For example, if your passion is music, you don’t have win the X Factor to make a career out of it. There’s hundreds of different opportunities in the in the music industry where you can turn your passion into a full-time job. You could enter musical journalism, radio or event management for festivals and concerts.

Your hobbies don’t just have to be something you do on the weekend when you’re not at school or work. Do some research and find out some of the jobs that exist in your area of interest - can you see yourself doing any of them?

QUESTION #3  What are you personal skills?

The third question you should ask yourself when looking for career ideas is, ‘what are my skills?’ What are you good at? Don’t just focus on subjects you get the best grades on in school, think about your personality traits and your strengths.

Are you good working in a team? Maybe you shine when you’re leading a team? Or do you prefer working on your own, independently?

It’s not uncommon for careers advisers to give personality questionnaires to students who have zero ideas about their future. This is because particular personality types suit particular careers.

You know your personality better than anyone, so ponder over your skills, strengths and weaknesses - it might not give you a specific job or career path, but will let you know what type of job you might pursue in the future.

It could tell you, for example, that you would prefer a career working outside, working with technology or even working with animals!

People choose careers for different reasons: money, vocations, or because ‘it’s what my Dad did’. Some people just end up in jobs without any idea of how they got there.

When you’re choosing a career, choose something that excites you. Choose something that you can genuinely see yourself doing one day. Once you’ve done that, you’ve taken your first steps towards your future career!