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Career path and planning

Career path
Written by Audrey Meow

Why your career path will always be different than others. One of the biggest problems students face when leaving school is, what exactly am I going to do now? Your career path needs to reflect your goals and needs and you are the only person that can truly understand the importance of planning your own career path.

When you are in high school, everyone from teachers, parents and friends will try their best to make sure you achieve the best possible self you can be.

I remember finishing high school with some vague idea of what I wanted to study at university. Students now have so many options that it can become overwhelming trying to decide what you want to study or what career you want to do.

Most people will change their careers on average 7 times throughout their working life. That’s not 7 jobs, that’s 7 completely different career paths. If you are in your final years of high school and are still trying to figure out what you want to do I have 3 different career paths for you.

Career path – Gap year

You have been working for 12 years straight by the time you finish high-school and for many people the thought of going straight back to studying can be daunting. If you want to expand your knowledge about the world we live in, the best way to do that is to explore it.

Living out of home and overseas will make you grow up as you are the one that has to look after yourself and do everything for yourself. If your parents are unsure about you travelling by yourself there are various companies that offer Gap year programs.

You can help teach English in Cambodia, work at an animal shelter in Thailand or be an au pair in France. I have personally found my greatest growth was from visiting and living in different cultures and societies.

Career path – Universities now offer diplomas as well now.

Until recently you could only achieve a diploma through a TAFE course. When I graduated if you wanted to increase your overall score, you would often have to apply to a university or course with a lower entry grade, study for a year to improve your results and then apply to the actual university and course you wanted to study.

Most universities around Australia have now integrated a diploma element into their course structure. These diplomas range across the board from business, health, creative industries, information technology and engineering.

If you undertake these one year diplomas you are guaranteed entry into your desired course as long as you have studied a diploma in that field. Don’t think of this in a negative way. If you are wanting to do business but don’t know what area you want to specialise in, take the course as a way to trial different areas of interest. That way you will know if you want to do PR, Marketing or even Accounting.

Most of my friends and even myself have all changed what they are studying. I went from a double degree in Asian History and Marketing to ending up with a degree in Media and Communications, with a master of Business: Strategic Advertising.

Career path – Trades are not just for one gender.

The school I went to was quite old fashioned. Females were taught how to cook and sow, while males were taught how to do woodwork. When I was finishing it was unheard of a female to do a trade such as an electrician, plumber, carpenter and just as equally unheard of was a male that did hairdressing or wanted to become a beautician.

Thankfully times have progressed a great deal and the stigmatisms have dissipated. If you are a female that wants to become a carpenter there is nothing stopping you. Some of the best electricians are females and all my hairdressers have been males.

It is very hard to know exactly who or what you want to be when you are just finishing high school. I did not choose a straight path, and I have been lucky enough to have lived in three different countries and travelled to over 30.

The biggest mistake I have seen is that too many people think that they can work for one year and return to study after. Most people that work straight after they finish, tend to be drawn in by a sudden burst of income and lose their passion for higher education. What they forget is that in 5 or 10 years’ time, they will be replaced by people that have qualifications suited for that job. Sometimes when you are studying you will often wonder why am I learning this and how could it possibly help me in the future? I will leave you with a quote from Steve Jobs:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Education comes in many different forms and, it is only after time passes that you realise just how much you have actually learnt from your experiences.


Author: Audrey Meow

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