Focus on Choosing the Right Career Path for You

Focus on Choosing the Right Path for You

Did you know?

  • Between 20 – 30% of first year students drop out of or change their university course.
  • About 50% of trainees drop out of their apprenticeship/traineeship.

Don’t become a statistic! Make sure you don’t just fall into a course or job. You still have plenty of time to make the right decisions and put in the groundwork.

You will be making the wrong career choice if you base your decision-making solely on any of the following:

It looks cool on TV (e.g. Boston Legal, Suits, CSI, Criminal Minds). This is NOT reality. People don’t walk around crime scenes wearing the latest fashions, or work in labs with their hair out. Nor do they receive crime scene test results overnight. If you want to watch a good program, watch an Australian reality series like:

  • Border Security Australia, Seven Network
  • The Recruit, Victoria Police
  • Testing Teachers, SBS

Or read autobiographies of people working in the industry you are interested in.

Your parents expect you to do it. This is a tricky one. You want to study history, but your parents expect you to study law, medicine or dentistry. Following your parents’ guidance will make them happy, but considering you will probably work until you’re 70 years old and will be an independent adult, it’s important that you are happy and fulfilled in your life.

The job pays a lot of money. We know occupations like Dentistry, Law and Mathematics pay well. But would you want to sit through four years of Law if your heart wasn’t in it, and you didn’t enjoy things like researching, debating, reading and analysing? And would you want to commit years of study to becoming a Dentist or Surgeon through taking subject after subject in sciences when your real passion is humanities?

If you want to follow the path that will lead you to a satisfying career, there are a few things to think about.

You don’t know what you don’t know: There is a world of opportunity out there with an enormous range of career options. There are jobs that will suit you that haven’t even been invented yet!

How would you know that you would like to study biomedical engineering if you have only studied physics and mathematical methods at school? How would you know that you would love anthropology if you have only studied sociology at school?

Network: Do work experience. Worried about missing school? Go for one or two days – you don’t have to go for a whole week. You won’t be able to build up a realistic picture of what an occupation is like by just reading a brochure.

Be flexible and ready for change: You will probably change your career direction several times throughout your lifetime and you will work for different companies. You may also change your course or apprenticeship, drop out of study, work for a while, go back to study, drop out again, travel, pick up some TAFE study, work in different jobs….you don’t know what lies ahead in your future but be prepared to be flexible and resourceful.

Participate in experience days, open days, career events organised by your school etc. One small thing may spark a new interest, or affirm current career interests.

Use YouTube: Sounds simple, but YouTube is a fantastic tool for researching courses and occupations. Just search ‘careers in Australia’ and you will be able to listen to people working in the occupation you are interested in.

Career Adviser: make a time to see your Career Adviser. They will be able to provide expert guidance.

Access your allies: For many people of your generation, it’s completely normal to not have post school career goals. Most importantly, speak to the people who know you best. They will be able to advise you well and support you throughout your journey.


For more information, please contact the Pathways Co-Coordinator Mr.McAuliffe in the Pathways Centre.