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Assessing What You Need for Your Career Path

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As you find yourself leaving school, often you find yourself bombarded with information and advice about what to do next. For many, their path is obvious, either wanting to go into a specific role straight out of school/college, perhaps an apprenticeship or just a straight-forward job. Or, the answer for many is to go to university to specialise in a particular subject/vocation. This article isn’t going to be another lecture of what you should do disguised as advice. Instead, I’m going to try and show the tools you need to help assess for yourself what you need to do next.

FIrstly, spend time to work out what truly motivates you.  If it’s money, then a vocational degree might be your best bet. With these sorts of degrees opening the world of work to you at graduate entry-level, with good chances of promotion. If your motivations stem more from helping people, or wanting to make a difference, it might be worth looking at the specific careers that offer this. For example, from school you can find social work jobs or apprenticeships. You could also choose a degree such as medicine, nursing, or midwifery. These may still be considered vocational degrees, but in a very different sense, that is removed from the world of business.

It’s also important to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. This can be a tricky process, as it’s never nice to admit what you’re not good at. Doing this though will only ever help you; finding a job can be a hard process, so knowing that you’re playing to your strengths is a good mental coping mechanism during this process. Overall, theoretically speaking speaking, this should also make your job hunt as short in duration as possible. This doesn’t mean, on a practical level, that you should always expect this. You should also make sure you’re assessing your strengths and weaknesses constantly throughout your life, as you cannot expect them to always stay the same as time passes.

These aren’t the only areas of self-assessment to consider. The point though is to make sure you take the adequate time needed to check in with yourself about the next steps in your career, no matter what stage it’s at. Advice and knowledge from others is of course of paramount value, but don’t allow it to be your only guiding principles, make sure they come from within as well as outside of yourself.

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