So you have finally finished school, college, university. What next? The majority of people will have no idea of what they actually want to do in the real world. If you are reading this stressing about what the next step should be, don't worry, you're not alone.
All throughout your education you were always led in a direction by your teachers or lecturers, but now you’re on your own. Where do you begin? What type of job do you want? What industry do you want to work in?
Below are some pointers to help you decide what the next steps are…
Think About It
The best advice I have received is to take your time to think about your future. It is very unlikely you'll be sitting in the pub and it comes to your head what you want to do. You’ll probably be busy with studying, exams, part time job, seeing friends and family, and trying to keep in control of everything, but you need to set aside some time just to think. This is the most important step, thinking. It’s very easy to get caught up in life and not to have some “me” time. Always try to have 30 minutes a week to just sit and think about some things.
Take Your Time
Trying to decide what career you want to take is a big decision, don’t rush into the first idea that comes to your mind. Take your time and make sure you are wanting to do this route.
What Do You Enjoy?
It sounds old school, however I found writing a list of what you enjoy helps you figure out what you enjoy studying and the things you enjoy personally. For example, I am a people person, I enjoy speaking to people, finding out what they've achieved, and at school I loved business management, especially the methodology of people's behaviours. I now work in HR based in the recruitment team, which I love because I get to speak to people every day and get to find out about the candidates. I also enjoyed computing at school and now I'm reaching out into the systems side of HR.
What Are You Good At?
Look at your school, college or university studies experience. What subjects or modules did you strive in? Also in your personal life, what role do you play in your friendship group, what activities do you like doing? Combine what you enjoy and what you are good at and look at different jobs that have aspects of both lists.
There is No Limit
You may decide on becoming an Electrical Engineer however you would also be interested in becoming a Design Engineer. There is no limits on how many fields you may be interested in and what you are interested in. I’d suggest you apply for as many jobs, apprenticeships, and graduate schemes across all fields you are interested in. This will broaden your horizon and give you more opportunities.
Your Decision Isn’t Final
Many people get stressed out deciding what they want to do with their future because they feel once they’ve landed a job in one field, they are stuck their entire life there. This is not true, this is your life. If you start doing a job and realise that it isn’t for you, you can easily start again in a new area that you’ll find a lot more interesting. You’ll find a lot of people who are 35+ still don’t know what they want to do with their lives, so don’t worry about making the wrong decision.
Now it is over to you to have a think about what you want to do next. Do you want to get a job, join an apprenticeship, join a graduate scheme, do some volunteering, go travelling, or study again? There are so many options out there now and hopefully this will help you decide what your next steps are.