Top 5 ways to look before you leap
1. Online courses
Once you have a job in mind, explore related topics with a free online course and see how you enjoy it. Considering IT? Try coding on Codecademy. Might need a language? Download the Duolingo app. Can’t remember much high school chemistry? Brush up via FutureLearn.
2. TED Talks
School leavers and career changers can work out what inspires them by listening to other people talk about their industries. Watching or listening to TED Talks and presentations can spark an interest you did not know you had.
3. Work experience
Judge a job by trying it for yourself. While work experience participants typically only deal with low-level tasks, a placement can be a chance to see what others do each day. What technology do they use? Are they at their desk or in the field? Do they work alone or in a team?
4. Talk to others
Rather than judge a career based on how it is depicted in movies, talk to someone who does it in real life. Ask family members, teachers, coaches and friends’ parents about their role and what they most and least enjoy. In what direction is the industry heading? What skills are in demand?
5. Personality test
Ask a friend for their honest opinion or try an online quiz to work out the jobs that might suit your personality. Social people tend to do well in sales while disciplined people might be a fit for defence. A Roy Morgan Research and Career Wizard online questionnaire answers the question “What do people like me do for a living?”. It focuses on attitudes and life goals and compares a participant’s responses to those of people working in 96 different occupations. Take the test at careerwizard.com.au.