Following a career path is difficult if you're not sure what you want to do. Some adults in their 50s still don't know! Remember people often change careers more than once in their lifetime, and you're free to follow whatever path inspires and drives you regardless of what anyone says.
What can I do?
Skills are important because you'll need to develop them for your dream job, whether you go straight into work or through college, uni or in some other way.
- If there are several jobs that interest you, why not find out what skills they need? Ask yourself some basic questions, and make notes. Do those skills interest you? Are you inspired to learn about them and develop them?
- Some jobs have skills that cross over into others, and that can give you more flexibility and a chance to move on, if you don't like what you've chosen to do.
Other ways of finding out
If you're really struggling to work out what it is you want to do, then doing some of the following might give you a taste of different areas of work and help you make up your mind:
- volunteering for a local charity
- doing work experience (either through school or arrange it yourself)
- trying out an internship (make sure you get paid for it)
- working in the summer holidays
- getting a Saturday job
Who can help me?
If you're going out into the world of work, recruitment agencies can help. You can visit a few agencies and decide which ones suit you best. Ask friends or family for personal recommendations too.
When you visit a recruitment agent:
- it's a good idea to dress smartly
- be prepared with an updated CV
- take as much information as possible about what you're looking for.
You can also look for jobs online. There's lots of websites you can use to find local jobs and you can apply online too. You might find it difficult to know when to stop as there's so much available. Remember it's more important to find jobs you like and will make the most of your skills, than applying for every single one you think you might be able to do.
Top tips for getting a job
Develop your manners! Being able to interact with people, being polite, helpful and considerate makes a huge difference.
You can have good interpersonal skills whether you are shy or outgoing, but good interpersonal skills are what employers are after- plus it makes it easier to get on with people and that's good for your mental health!
If you start off in a junior position you may have people telling you what do, and feel you are having to put up with people bossing you around. Everyone who is employed has to put up with this, even people in senior positions. Learning to deal with people in authority maturely is a really helpful life skill.
However, being in a junior position does not mean you should be bullied or treated disrespectfully. If you unhappy with how you are treated talk to someone about it.
Get some voluntary work. You will definitely get some useful experience, have something to put on your CV and show that you have initiative and good work ethic. It's much better for you than sitting at home moping, gaming or surfing, or watching daytime TV!
Volunteering might help you to find something you are interested in - and this can be a good way of getting a reference and building up contacts. You might even end up with a formal job offer through voluntary work.
More helpful info
is a great place to get help and advice about getting a job, managing money, health and relationships.
has some great information for young people going into the world of work.
Volunteering is an great way to gain experience, build confidence and find out what you want to do for work. vInspired
have an amazing website for offering volunteering opportunities with charities in the your area.
Local support & information
Information Shop for young people
Offering free and confidential advice to young people aged up to 25. We are here to help with any queries you might have about anything that affects your life.
We help young people produce CVs and apply for jobs. We also offer free use of phone and computer use for job search.
Based within Culture Fusion building in Bradford – 01274 432 431 or email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Based in the Town Hall in Keighley – 01535 618 100 or email the team on email@example.com