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Where do I Start?
Where do i start?
Are you studying and not sure what you want to do?

With so many options out there, choosing a career direction can be a tough decision.
It's an exciting time to explore your options and find something you love doing.
Remember, you're not locked in forever to the choices you make now. Many people start off in one job before moving in a totally different direction. These days, it's perfectly acceptable.

Sections within this page:

Start thinking early
How do I choose a career?
What if I don't get it right the first time round?

Start thinking early
The main reason for thinking about work now is that the subjects you choose at school can affect the education and job opportunities available to you later. For most courses, including university studies and many apprenticeships and traineeships, you have to complete certain school subjects before you start. Talk to your school careers counsellor or visit myfuture. If you don't choose the right subjects, there are ways to get around it, like bridging courses at university. But it'll save you some hassle if you try to get it right the first time round.

How do I choose a career?

A good first step is to develop a personal profile. You can use this in the future when considering what careers suit you best.
Start by thinking about what you love doing or what interests you the most. Consider the subjects and activities you like at school as well as what you like doing in your own time. For example you may like helping your parents with renovation projects around the house or nursing injured animals back to health.

At the same time think about the things you don't really enjoy. For example, you may have discovered through taking a part-time job that you don't necessarily like dealing with customers and would prefer to be in the office analysing and balancing the finance books.
It's also important to consider:
  • what you're actually good at
  • what it is about you that makes you good at certain things - you may enjoy maths because you're good at analysing and solving problems
  • what skills and knowledge you already have
  • what you value - maybe helping people is more important to you than making a lot of money
  • what you want from work - do you want to work outdoors, what hours do you want to work, where do you want to work and how much money you want to make?
The next step is to research various career options to find some that appeal to you and tie in with your personal profile. If you can organise it, work experience is a great way to test out a few career options and see if the reality matches your idea of a job.
Then find out what you need to do at school to help you get into these careers, for example, what pre-requisite subjects are required for an apprenticeship in carpentry.

What if I don't get it right the first time round?

Don't panic if you change your mind, haven't studied the right subjects, or simply aren't getting the grades you need. There are still plenty of ways to get your dream job. Some of your options are:
  • If it's early enough, change subjects to meet pre-requisite requirements
  • Return to school or do equivalent studies at TAFE
  • Do a bridging course at a university in the subject you need
  • Start an alternative university or TAFE course to meet your pre-requisites or boost your grades.
For Indigenous students there are also other options:

The Indigenous Youth Mobility Programme (IYMP) provides opportunities for young Indigenous people from remote Australia to move to a major centre to participate in pre-vocational training, Australian Apprenticeships, Certificate Courses and university courses, such as those leading to nursing, teaching, accounting and business management qualifications.


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