How to choose a career

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When you’re trying to work out how to choose a career, sifting through the range of options available can seem daunting. Tuning into the things you are good at and the tasks that give you satisfaction is a useful way to decide whether you are on the right track.

With your life spent so far within an educational environment, it can be challenging to know what you might be good at in the world of work and bridge that gap from education to employment. You might know which subjects you enjoy, for example Maths or History, but how do these interests translate into the skills that employers are looking for? And which jobs might maximise the strengths you employ when studying those subjects?

It’s important to remember that there isn’t just one path open to you, but many. Many people start off heading in one, but as they learn more about themselves and the reality of employment, they often change course to undertake work that plays to their strengths and that ultimately they enjoy.

When you’re at school, your focus is on passing your examinations and achieving good results. Although results are important when seeking employment, getting the right job and being successful is about much more. How you behave and what you're like to work with and for are also vital. It’s therefore important to do your research to establish which courses, training and/or employment options are right for you. This will prevent you from drifting into an unsuitable career and instead help you make informed and conscious choices.

Your research may include speaking to teachers, family and friends, reflecting on what you enjoy and what you excel at and gaining work experience is another avenue you could use to think about what motivates you, the circumstances in which you deliver your best and how you behave in different environments. This way you are more likely to find a career that suits you. Students at Larbert High School found the impartial careers guidance they received invaluable. According to one student it helped them “to consider the career options that are open to me in the future, and also if my personality would suit those careers. It was an excellent exercise that…I would recommend to others.”

Remember though, your path will continue to evolve over time. The more you learn about yourself, the more you can tune into the roles that are right for you.