Choosing what to do next: 5 questions to ask yourself
Posted: 25 August 2016 at 7:25 am | Author: Alison German
For those with everything figured out; GCSE results day can come and go with very little thought. You have your results and are heading to Sixth Form or College? Great! For those that don’t, it’s a different story. You have your results, but are still completely lost as to what you’re going to do now? That doesn’t feel so great, but you’re not alone; now is the time to brainstorm and really think about what your options are. Before making a decision, ask yourself these five questions…
What are my strengths?
Doing something that you’re good at can help you secure long term job satisfaction. Think about what you excelled at in school; or the sorts of tasks that you find really easy that others may struggle with. Are you a great communicator that always held the team together during group activities at school? Are you good with numbers and at you’re best when tackling a new problem in maths class? Perhaps you’re really organised and enjoy planning days out and parties with your friends? Whatever your skills, there are careers out there that match them perfectly.
What do I enjoy?
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Anonymous
Now that you’ve identified what your skills and strengths are; you should think about the things that you enjoy doing, and how you might combine the two. What do you enjoy at school and what are your favourite hobbies? This can be a difficult question, because at first glance what you like to do in your free time may not seem to translate into a viable career path. Can your love of Doritos, TV and video games really help you make a decision about where you want to be in the future? You may not think so; but video game enthusiasts could make great game writers, programmers, designers, producers or testers with the right training, qualifications and experience! Think about what you love to do, and what sort of jobs would incorporate that. At CAW Business school, for instance, we offer apprenticeships in customer service, so if you’re a great communicator and love to help people, you might combine the two by pursuing work-based training within a customer service environment, perhaps aiming to progress into a senior managerial position over time.
What do I value?
This question is about considering what kind of environment would suit different working values. For example if you value being out and about in the outdoors, you might resent being in an office environment full time, whereas others may find comfort in the routine and security that comes with being in an office. Night owls may wish to pursue jobs that allow them to work flexibly. People that prefer to work independently and with small teams are likely to choose different types of work to people that thrive when working in large teams and meeting a variety of new people. Would you prefer a busy, noisy workplace, or do you work best in a quiet environment? Considering what kind of environment you would thrive in is just as important as choosing the correct career path; and will help you to progress professionally once you’ve found your ideal job.
How do I get there?
Now that you have some idea of the sorts of jobs and careers that you may wish to pursue; you need to think about how you’re going to get there. For example, if you’re looking at a job that specifically requires further education such as a dentist or doctor; then you should set your sights on continuing onto A-Levels and University. Other careers may involve gaining work based training and experience, in which case an apprenticeship or traineeship would be the perfect next step towards achieving your aims. The National Careers Service is an excellent website that provides information about different career and training options if you’re looking for some more information on a specific job role.
Who can help me decide?
Choosing what to focus your efforts on at a young age is a tough decision to make – but not one you have to make alone, so don’t be afraid of asking for help! It’s worth having a chat with the many people, services and organisations out there that can offer you support and guidance during this period, because they may be able to bring something to the conversation that you hadn’t originally thought about. Sometimes it’s hard, for example, to identify your own skills and talents, but usually it’s much more obvious to other people. Why not consider what your friends and family say you do well? Or ask them about how they got to be where they are today and if they have any advice.
Being able to answer these questions should help you understand your strengths, values, interests and ambitions in more detail – which will make choosing the next step in your training and/or academic and professional career with confidence a little easier! Remember that no matter what you choose to do next, your GCSE results do not define your future potential and not doing as well as you might have hoped does not mean that you’ll never get to where you want to be.
If you’re struggling to make a decision about your future, EDGE – located in St Benedict’s Court, Huntingdon – will be open from 10am-4pm on Wednesday 31 August 2016, offering a team of advisors able to provide support and guidance on qualifications, further education, vocational training and employment. Alternatively, if you’re looking for advice on careers in Business Administration, Bookkeeping and Accountancy or Customer Service, a member of our Customer Advice Team (CAT) would be happy to have an informal chat with you in order to discuss your post GCSE options, and can be reached on 01480 422060.