Choosing a pathway is often a difficult task because career development is a long-term process.
As we grow, we change, and so do our goals and preferred career outcomes. At the same time, we are aware that employment and the labour market are constantly changing and that the career or occupation we focus on now may simply not exist in the future.
There are at least three basic stages in successful career planning. The first is to know where you are starting from. This is called Finding out about Yourself. You can read about this in The Job Guide.
You need to do some self assessment. What are your interests, aptitudes, skills, strengths? All Year 10 students at Westall Secondary College complete a Pathways Plan which provides an interest guide report generated from answers to a number of questions and then provides a job suggestions report which matches jobs to the student’s interests.
The second stage of successful career planning lies in identifying the destination, preferably not a single occupation at this stage but a general occupational area. Consider, What type of Work would suit You? For example, analytic or scientific, creative or artistic, etc. Once again you can read about these work types in The Job Guide. Do some research on potential occupations in the area that suits you.
The third stage of successful career planning is to identify the pathways that can take you from where you are to where you want to go. A great deal of relevant information can be found using the internet. In particular students can log onto the myfuture.edu.au website which has been set up to allow individuals to explore career options. Students should also refer to “Where to Now” Guide to VCE, VCAL & Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
Identifying these pathways has many similarities with the geographic problem of getting from place to place in that there are usually many different ways of getting to the one destination. However, some pathways are more direct, some are more pleasant and some are more interesting. For the purposes of career planning, your own pathway may begin with a Year 10 program which will lead to VCE or VCAL in Years 11 and 12. From there it may proceed through a TAFE or University course, or it may lead through employment and vocational training such as an apprenticeship or traineeship. Plan well, for these are the major highways that will take you towards your destination.
In choosing your subjects it is important to follow a couple of simple pieces of advice: Keep Your Options Open and Follow Your Interests
Note: Keeping options open does not mean you should take subjects in which you have no interest or little ability! This will restrict rather than enhance your options.
There are three golden rules to keep in mind when choosing subjects. These are:
- Choose subjects you will most likely succeed in (these are usually subjects of INTEREST).
- Choose subjects that you are most likely to enjoy (you will be INTERESTED in these).
- Check the prerequisites for University or TAFE courses of INTEREST to you.
Where a career pathway involves a University or TAFE course you should check whether there are any subject prerequisites before finalising your VCE course.
If you discover a need to take subjects in which you have Little or No INTEREST or with which you are likely to struggle, ask yourself if you are prepared and able to put in the work and effort necessary to achieve success in these subjects. If not, think again!