Once you have a good idea about the sort of work you might like (and don’t like) you can confidently go ahead and explore the learning opportunities and occupations out there.
Keep in mind that you will most likely change jobs and possibly careers a number of times in your working life — personal and social changes mean you will need to keep on learning and skilling up so that you can move with these changes over time.
You might have used the career tools suggested in ‘Getting started’ which may have helped you to narrow down the field. However, at this early stage, keep your options open.
Explore what's out there
Talk to people about their work and learning experiences. Hands on experience is vital and can help you to find out more about you and your strengths. Casual work, work experience and work placements that are part of training courses and volunteering are all great way to explore the world of work.
For each occupation you explore ask yourself these questions.
- What are the daily tasks and duties?
- What are the working conditions?
- What are the personal requirements?
- What skills and training do I need?
- What career paths are available?
- Where is the work?
- How do I find out more about my preferred occupations?
Finding out what appeals to you can be an exciting process, but it can take time to research. Prepare yourself by following the tips and steps below — these are just some of the tools you can use to explore your work and learning options. Once you have a selection of occupations, you can start researching specific occupations from the occupation profiles.
- Put time aside to explore and research
- Find a nice quiet spot with no distractions
- Use the occupations search feature on our website to research specific details about the occupations that appeal to you most
- Check out which of the personal requirements match your skills, interests and values
- Talk to a range of people working in the occupations that interest you
- Keep all of your information in one place
- Create a shortlist of your preferred occupations
Jake finds out
Jake is halfway through year 12 at school, he's not really sure what he wants to be or do when he finishes school in a few months.
He's been thinking through a few ideas of what he enjoys doing the most and what skills he may already have which might help him make some decisions.
He has written a list of his favourite things to do and what personal skills he has, and he's come up with a shortlist. Jake knows he's creative, he likes writing ad has some skills in digital imaging, he enjoys reading and chatting with his mates on an animation blog and has great media and technology skills from school.
Jake uses the occupation search on the Jobs and Skills WA website to see where these skills fit into actual occupations, typing in "media" to see what occupation profiles are shortlisted. There are so many results — from a 'Video editor' to a 'Radio presenter' and a 'Game developer' — so many choices, it's stressing Jake out!
Jake finds the 'Web developer' occupation profile the most interesting — it seems to fit a lot of his skills and interests and he thinks this might be good to study after year 12.The occupation profile for 'Web developer' states that vocational education and training (VET) courses and university degrees in digital media technologies, interactive media, web media and web communications are widely available.
Jake finds the choices overwhelming — he really isn't sure which is the right course for him. So he calls his local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 to see if someone can give him some advice. Rob answers the call, and Jake tells him about the research he's already done. Together, they talk through Jake's skills and they also discuss the kind of work that Jake's most interested in, but with so many options to choose from they decide that a meeting in person would be best.
Jake makes an appointment with Rob at the Jobs and Skills Centre for the next day to get some help with finding a course where he can study web-based technologies. He feels less stressed about the whole thing now, and he's really pleased that he now has some direction to focus on for the end of his year 12.
Jake has a plan! After his meeting with Rob at the Jobs and Skills Centre, Jake feels like he has direction now.
He's worked through many steps himself by finding out his own strengths and interests, and he's confident that by talking his options through with Rob, he's made the right decision for his future.
The thought of not knowing where you are heading might seem confusing or daunting to begin with but by taking it step by step and asking for help, it can become an exiting journey!