Choosing a career can be as difficult as finding love. Many young people (and not so young people) drive themselves crazy figuring out which one is right for them. If you find yourself in a similar situation as you enter the final years of schooling, or even after you have left school, you are not alone. People everywhere struggle with the question of what they’re supposed to do with their lives. Young people especially are haunted by the question. They often feel like they can’t get a break; school counselors are questioning them, mom and dad are badgering, and they just want the freedom of being on their own. I advise young people to think about their long term plan. I call this a 60 year plan and I ask them to think about where they want to be in 60 years and even their plans for retirement. This type of long term thinking can help them to visualize their future and start making plans.
It is all about the questions
We already know that the choice of a career can be one of the toughest decisions in life. We encourage young people to ask themselves what a career means to them. The Australian government has a great website career quiz that offers a free career quiz. I use this site, but have also developed my own questions such as:
Then we talk more about specific aspirations and goals such as:
At this point we find that engagement with the process is usually growing (we still don’t reach all of our clients, but we have a good success rate) and we ask those interested young people to write themselves a series of questions that they may not have the answers to. They are then encouraged to research anything they come up with.
One of our students decided that he wanted to investigate retirement options, he only had 45 years until he reached retirement age, but time flies fast I guess. He asked himself a number of questions relating to retiring early and ways that he could work towards a dream retirement. He was encouraged to research superannuation and he used a number of resources such as this site to learn all about super funds. It was this process that led him to his career in financial planning and 5 years later he is working in the industry and loving every minute of it. He contacted me just last week to update me on his career progress and to thank me again for encouraging him to think deeply about his career path.
It can be difficult to get young adults interested in a career, but with a little time and dedication it is possible to motivate almost anyone to take on an enjoyable career path.