Five things I wish I'd known when I finished high school
Finishing high school can be an exciting but also daunting experience.
Most people don’t know what they want to do when they finish school – it’s normal!
In today's tough economic climate, many unemployed or under employed would be happy with any job, and don't dare aspire to a dream job.But what if you could have it all: a job that you love to do, a job you're good at doing it, and a job which is in demand, so you will actually get paid to do it?
Nothing is set in stone. Career change statistics suggest that the average person will make a career change approximately five to seven times during their working life. This means there is not just one job you will do, but many. With our constantly changing work practices and technology, you might have a job in the future that doesn’t even exist now!
As your experiences broaden you will start to realise what you like and don’t like to do through trial and error, so be prepared for a journey of lifelong learning. The most important thing is to be open-minded, motivated and willing to learn!
Your marks don’t define your course or career choice
Don’t let your choice of further study be solely determined by your results. Consider your motivations and interests and do not let your marks sway you from what you really want to do.
There is more than one road to the same destination
Students may be disappointed when they get their results. There is a whole range of reasons why people might not achieve their best results at high school and this does not mean they won’t be successful.
You need to be aware of what your influences are
My choices were influenced by who I knew and which university they were going to, and other factors such as my parents and erroneous preconceptions about courses and occupations.
It’s important to consider the learning style that suits you best and what people currently in the profession recommend as the best study program for what you want to do. Take the time to stop, reflect and discuss the factors that are influencing you.
If you take a year off, use it wisely
If you take a year off don’t think you will suddenly have a great epiphany and necessarily know what you want to do with your life! Having time out from study can be a wonderful growth experience, but think about when is the right time to take that year off and make sure it is for the right reasons. Do something that will enrich your life.
Your learning never ends
Your learning does not conclude at the end of high school, nor at the end of a degree or even when you get your first job. In fact, that’s only the start! The road ahead will be full of twists and turns, and sometimes the destination will be clear while at other times it might feel like you’re going in circles. There will be many opportunities for gaining new knowledge and skills, for changing direction and ultimately for personal growth. This is what a career – and life – is all about!
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