Choosing a career path is an important decision for your life. Deciding on the right career means the difference between working in an area you love where you feel capable, fulfilled and inspired to grow and contribute and working in an area where you feel unhappy and trapped like you are slaving away just to make a dollar.
If you are not sure what to consider when you’re trying to decide on a career it can seem like an impossible task but if you know what to look for in yourself then it becomes a lot easier.
First Thing; Don’t Rush.
Before you even start you should understand that you have enough time and usually enough leeway to choose and change your mind about your path before you get settled into a real career. Very often our first ideas about careers change and our first jobs have nothing to do with the career we will actually hold so do not pressure yourself to need to know what career you’re going to have right now. Focus on always doing well in school so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities due to poor performance and on getting to know yourself thoroughly which will be valuable as you narrow down your decision.
Know All About Yourself
The best way to decide on a career that suits you is to figure yourself out first and then use that information to move forward. The more you know about your interests and your strengths and competencies the more able you will be to see where you can most beneficially contribute your abilities. By understanding what you have to offer first and where it will be best received you really get to carve out a place for yourself and avoid choosing a career that wouldn’t suit you.
Here are the kinds of questions you should ask yourself
What do I like doing?
What do I do well?
When do I feel the most pleased and satisfied with myself?
Is there anything that people often seem to ask me for help with?
In what environment and with what kind of people do I work best?
When you start asking these kinds of exploratory questions they will eventually point you in the direction of career options that suit you better.
Discussing these same questions with adults who know you well can help you to identify skills that you have that you may not know about or may not realize the value of.
Explore Your Options
Once you are more aware of what you like and are good at and what kind of environment you want to work in you will have to spend some time researching what kind of careers are perfect for people just like you.
You can do this by asking parents, parents’ friends, teachers and other professionals or going online and finding out more about jobs you think will interest you or you could also look at job vacancy ads even if you aren’t ready for employment, they can give you a great idea of what kind of skills suit what kind of jobs.
Check out as many jobs as you can so that you give yourself as many options as you can and you will find the career path you will want to direct yourself on. Once you move on to higher education you will be introduced to other careers on your chosen path until you can select exactly what you want to do.
Always Consider Entrepreneurship
Never forget that your job can be one that you’ve made for yourself and you can even provide jobs for others as well. That’s what entrepreneurs do. They put in the extra thought and effort to start and run their own businesses and be their own bosses and they are a beneficial addition to the economy.
Check out Entrepreneurship on this website for more information and links.
As was mentioned at the beginning, you may move around a bit before you find exactly what you want but as long as you always perform your best at whatever you’re doing there will always be opportunities available to you wherever you want.
To get you started with exploring yourself and researching careers that may interest you, go to our Career Path Starter Links where you will find free online aptitude/career finder tests. These tests cannot predict your career but can help you to identify areas you are interested in and want to look closer at.
Career Path Starter Links
Undo Burnout – For Form 1 Students and Parents
During or after we have been through a long period of stress we usually experience some kind of burnout. Burnout is the physiological effect (in other words, the effect on our bodies and brains) that the stress produces.
For us to understand the serious effect stress can have we must know that stress is not just feeling pressured or overworked. The effects of stress can be identified in the body by high levels of stress hormones. When a person has been stressed out for a long time it takes a while to get back to normal and in the meantime it will be difficult to function.
Form 1 students are coming into secondary school burnt out from the pressure and demands of grade 6. These students are mentally tired and we have noticed that this is a major problem for their academic performance in the lower forms. These same students also have to face new stresses of beginning a new school and go through major changes in their own bodies.
While we understand that our new students have lasting stress effects after the hard task of common entrance preparation and we want them to bounce back from the grade 6 burnout, we also want them to continue their successful growth as a student.
Here are some helpful things that Form 1s and their parents can do to balance their bounce back from burnout and their academic progress.
1. Stay organized. Keep track of assignments, projects, tests, homework and extra-curricular activities somewhere very visible, like a wall calendar. Do things early and in order of importance so that you have enough time to finish and you do not forget or have to rush.
2. Re-set the limits. This is a new start at a new school so take the time to understand what is expected from you as a student and what is absolutely not acceptable. For example you are expected to be on time and ready to work when you get to school and it is absolutely not acceptable to not have your homework or to talk during class.
3. Decide early on goals. You went into grade 6 knowing what your goal was so you were able to work to meet it. It would be a mistake to now jump into a new school without first taking some time to set some short-term and long-term goals. Use your goals to stay on track.
4. Make it interesting. Learning does not have to be boring. You are beginning a five year journey to your CXC examinations and further life success this is a great time to find creative ways to make your own learning fun. Make sure to find out your learning style (you can find quizzes online) and use tips, tricks and technology to beat boredom.
5. Break down success. Know that success is made up of lots of little parts. See the steps involved in accomplishing any task and cheer yourself on all along the way so that you stay motivated. If you make sure to get all the notes on an important topic in class you should feel good about it because that is one of the steps that will help you to study later and do well.
6. Put the work down. Spend time doing things that are relaxing, social and fun. It is good for you to dedicate some time to your non-academic talents, playing sports, having nice talks with the people around you and just generally enjoying yourself. Healthy lives have balance.