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‘So, what do you want to do with your life?’ said every adult ever. The truth is, our career can play a really big part in our lives, and the idea of choosing one can be daunting.

job things 

If you don’t know what you want to do, settling on a career path can be a big deal. Read on for tips on how to figure it all out.

Think about what you enjoy

What do you really love doing? Make a list of all the things you enjoy, and try to match them up with possible careers. Think outside the box. There are millions of jobs you probably don’t even know exist, so do some research as to what’s out there. You could even look directly on job sites such as Seek or Indeed for ideas.

Work out what you’re good at

We’re all good at something. Are you a great communicator, a whiz at solving problems, or really creative? Being clear about your skills and personal strengths will go a long way in helping you to identify a possible career pathway.

Consider what lifestyle appeals to you

Would you prefer an indoor or outdoor working environment? Travelling around or staying put? It’s worth thinking about how to fit working into your lifestyle so that it’s an enjoyable part of your life.

Think about whether you want to study

If you know what you want to do, figure out what qualifications are required. Will you need to study at TAFE? At uni? At a design school? Will you have to complete an apprenticeship? Design school? The options are endless. Consider your options and be realistic Depending on where you live, it may not be super-easy, or even possible, to get the job you want right now. There’s nothing wrong with considering your options, going for one and changing your mind if it doesn’t work out.

If you’re struggling...

If you’re struggling with the steps above, here are some things you can do:

  • Chat to someone: A lot of the time, we’re our own harshest critic. Get a second opinion from a trusted friend or family member, and find out what they think you’re awesome at. For professional guidance, take all your questions to a careers adviser at school or uni.
  • Map it out: Go to town on a mind map, jotting down all the types of jobs you might be interested in. Then put it out of sight for a week. When you take another peek at it, are there any jobs that stick out?
  • Do some work experience: Volunteer or intern with companies or organisations you like the look of. It’s one of the best ways to get a taste of what to expect in an industry. If you find that it’s not for you, you can simply cross it off your list. Done.
  • Imagine you’re offered every job in the whole world: Which one would you pick? Start from there and work backwards to something you feel you can achieve.

Still not sure what you want to do?

It probably isn’t going to happen that you’ll fall into a job that you love straight away. It takes time, persistence and hard work. In the meantime, any experience is good experience. If you have absolutely no idea where to start, just choose anything – that way, you'll at least start acquiring skills that are valuable in any workplace and learning about the kinds of things you do and don’t like in a job, and about what it’s like to be employed. The good thing is, it’s not a big deal to shift careers. You can always change to something else down the track.

What can I do now?

  • Get tips for interview skills.
  • Talk to a careers adviser.
  • Start answering the questions listed above!