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How to Choose the Best Career for you if you are Under 20

Choosing a career can be a daunting and difficult decision

If you are about to leave school, college or university and are thinking of looking for work it can be a bewildering process. Even if you have some idea of the type of career you wish to have, there are still so many options in every career field and it can be quite hard to work out which one is the best for you. There is a lot of help you can get both from within your place of education and outside services if you just know where to look.

Careers Advice

The first thing to do when you start to think about your future career is to get some advice. At this stage it might only be help with how to plan your career hunt, or if you have an idea of where you wish to work then it could be help finding the right career in that area.

At school, college and university there are trained careers advisors with access to all kinds of resources at their fingertips so your first step should be to make an appointment to speak to one of them. If there is any reason why you can’t speak to one of them, you feel uncomfortable or there are no appointments available that you can attend, there are out of establishment careers services as well. There is a service that is countrywide called Connexions that will offer careers advice to young people that you can access online, on the telephone or in one of their many offices.

Have a look on the internet and Google Connexions to find out the best way to get in touch with this service provider. There is another internet service called Youth Tube which offers all kinds of help with searching for a career if you are less than 20 years old. This is a Hampshire based service but as it is online that does not matter at all. On this site you can learn how to create a CV, find out what qualifications you need for thousands of careers choices and look at the profiles for these careers. Profiles are a kind of in depth look into all parts of a particular job which will show you if there is possibly some part of it that you would hate or parts that you would really enjoy.

Choosing a Career that is Right for You

Remember that the idea of choosing a career is that it is potentially one you stay in for the rest of your life, or at least certainly for a great many years. With this in mind it is really important that you find a career that is perfect for you. To do this you are going to need to find out a whole combination of things from what you are good at and what you enjoy to what you have training in or experience of.

A good way to work this out is to create several lists. The first one should be a list of all the things you like to do. This could be classes you take, hobbies you have, things you have tried and enjoyed, things you would like to try, anything that that could have a positive effect on a future career path. The second list should be the reverse of this: all the things you are bad at, that you do not enjoy and that would make your future career miserable. This could be lessons that you really did not like, experiences you have tried and hated or even things that you know you are just not good at. For example it is no good looking for a career as a cleaner of the Eiffel Tower if you are afraid of heights! These two lists will be really useful in sorting out the jobs that you could or could not enjoy.

Once you have done this you can put some of the things from the positive list into an online tool called a Career Profiler. Here you just put in the things you are interested in and it brings up list of potential careers in that area. From there you can look at a huge number of different types of job in the field that you are interested in. You would be really surprised at how many different career paths you can look into if you are interested in say, science for example.

Already know what you want to do?

If you are already interested in a particular type of work it is a really good idea to work out the actual career path you will need to take to get into that line of work. This could be when you are taking your options at school, deciding what to do at college or university or finding out where you need to start working once you have qualified. The careers profilers will help with that and the previously mentioned Youth Tube also has lots and lots of career paths from GCSE onwards.

There is a National Careers Service that you can access by calling 0800 100 900 to either talk to someone over the phone or to book a face to face interview at one of the Careers Offices so that someone can give you help and guidance in your chosen profession even if you are only looking into which qualifications will be of the most benefit.

It might also be a good idea to talk to someone that is already in the line of work that you are anticipating joining. Doing some research online about the job and finding out the contact details of someone already doing it is not that hard. Many people will be more than happy to send out an email or letter about their work, some companies may even let you do some work experience with them or just show you around to give you an idea of what the job entails. The very worst case scenario is that they may say that they cannot help you, at which point you just try somewhere else. It is always a good idea to make initial communications in this case by letter or email but make sure you provide plenty of ways to return the communication.

Other people who may help

If you are really at a loss to know where to start with planning your career there are other people who may be able to help. Talk to parents or other people who know you to get their perspective on the kind of job you may be suitable for. Teachers may not know the exact information that you need, but they will almost always know how to signpost you to someone who does.

It pays to put as much effort into researching your future career as early as possible, as this way you have the best chance of being one of the lucky people who looks forward to going into work every day.