29 June 2023

How to Choose a Career Whilst You’re at School

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Do you know what career you want to pursue after school? Don’t worry 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 making decisions about your future.

Here are four 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!)

What careers do people go into when they’ve studied your favourite subject at university? Choose one or two of your favourite subjects, and research what jobs are associated with them.

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 passion unrelated to your studies, why not make a career out of it?

For example, if your passion is music, you don’t have to win the X Factor to do it as a career. There are hundreds of different opportunities 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?

Settled on a career and ready to apply? We have tons of application advice, from CV tips to mock interview questions for you to sink your claws into.

QUESTION #3  What are your 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 at working in a team? 
  • Do 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 it will let you know what type of job you might pursue.

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

QUESTION #4 What’s out there at the moment?

Another way to choose your career is to see what’s out there.

Look at job boards. What are some of the most popular or pinned jobs? What industries are hiring? Are there any roles that work across various industries?

These questions are great to ask because they’ll give you a good idea of what the job market looks like. Plus, you never know what might pique your interest.

It’s important to know that the job market is always changing. So sign up for a few job boards for notifications and updates – especially for industries you’re keen on.

Why not sign up for an account with us? You’ll be able to:

  • Save the apprenticeship roles that interest you
  • Register your interest in the latest jobs before they open applications
  • Hear about competitions and events
  • Receive the content you want. Jobs and advice straight to your inbox
  • Get bespoke job alerts.

People choose careers for different reasons: money, vocation, or because ‘it’s what my Dad did’. Some people just end up in jobs without any idea 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!