Given that most people spend a large part of their lives at work, spending time researching job sectors and roles to help you make a career decision you’re happy with is time well spent. A good place to start is online. Many excellent websites provide up-to-date and impartial information and advice and the following free to access websites are recommended in particular:
All of these sites include useful profiles which describe the key elements of a job (such as responsibilities, qualifications and skills needed, pay and career prospects). They also have information on which jobs relate to a particular subject, which can be a helpful starting point if there is a subject you are passionate about. If you are struggling for ideas, the sites contain different tools which suggest job ideas or job sectors which might suit you based on your skills, interests, motivations and personality.
Other suggestions to help your career exploration include doing work experience, work shadowing and volunteering. These can help you ‘test the water’ and give valuable insight into a job or industry you might be considering to see if it’s right for you before making any commitment. You will also gain practical skills in a working environment and it could lead to paid work or making connections who can help you in the future. If you don’t enjoy the experience, then this is still valuable learning and can help you understand more clearly what you actually do want to do.
Take any opportunities you have to ask people about their jobs (for example through attending any careers events or employer visits your school/college arranges). This can give fresh ideas and inspiration for your own career plans. It can also be helpful to discuss your thoughts and ideas with family and friends, school/college staff and a trained careers adviser.