What do you want to be when you grow up?

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question a lot of us heard as a child. It’s one I still ask myself today. I get it, it can be stressful trying to figure it all out, growing up is tough and sometimes we have a bit of adulting to do, like thinking about our futures. But it’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do.

Studies have estimated that Australians will make around 17 changes in employers and have a range of roles and occupations throughout their careers.

If you’re not sure where to start, then read on. I’ve put together some tips to help you jump-start the next steps in your career path.

What are your interests?

Start thinking about the things you’re interested in. Are you a maths wiz who is great with numbers? Or maybe you’re more into the arts? Start exploring careers that incorporate your interests.

And if you’re still not sure, then ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I enjoy doing most?
  • What are my unique strengths?
  • Where do I want to be in five years?

Decide how you want to get there

Knowing what type of education or training you need will help you plan your next steps and how you will get there. School isn’t for everyone but there are many ways to get into the job you want. Some jobs need a degree or qualification, others involve completing an apprenticeship or on the job training. There are many options out there.

Here are some examples to get you thinking:

  • To become a lawyer you will need to do a bachelor’s degree and on the job training. 
  • If you’re a whiz in the kitchen, you might consider becoming a chef. You will need to do an apprenticeship or attend school.
  • If you want to become an actor, you can attend a performing arts school or university like the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) or Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). If school is not your thing, then start going to open auditions for extras roles, community theatres and short films. You will start to build up your acting CV with work experience in the industry.

It can be frustrating as your path might not lead you straight to where you want to be. But don’t give up. Keep working towards your goals.

Gotta go to WORK!

You need to support yourself, which means you might not be in a role that’s your first choice. It’s a good idea to work out what type of job will work for you and your current situation:

  • Are you a student focusing on study and can only do part-time or casual work?
  • Are you transitioning from one career to another? You may need to work full-time in your current role while shifting into your new career.
  • Or you might be in-between work and need to take any job to get by.

The role you’re in right now might not be your dream job, but take this time as an opportunity. You will pick up new skills and knowledge that can help you in the future and employers are more likely to hire you if you are currently employed.

magnifying glass over job ad
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The journey of a thousand miles 

As Lao Tzu once said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” It’s true, to get to anywhere you want to go it starts with a single step.

Most careers aren’t a straight line, they zig zag and go up, down and sideways.

Most people don’t know what they want to be when they grow up – even when they’re grown up! Or some may think they know but then decide the job isn’t what they thought it would be, and that’s okay.

Just look at each job you have as a stepping stone in the direction of where you want to be. After reading this blog, you might not have all the answers, but you have started the journey.

Ready to find your dream job? Go to jobactive.gov.au to start searching today.

Images: Istock and giphy

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