Indecisive? Unsure of what to do next? Worried you haven’t got a clear career path yet? We know that making decisions after GCSEs can feel like a lot of pressure.
Whilst this all sounds scary, it’s important to take a step back and look at what you enjoy and what you’re good at, so you can be confident in your next steps, whatever you decide.
To get you thinking about your options, ahead of our live stream event on Wednesday 12 May, we’ve compiled a list of top tips to help you feel at ease:
It’s OK to be unsure
No doubt there are those in your friend group who have always known what they want to be. Whether pursuing a career in the Army, working in Fashion, or becoming a builder, some people find this decision just comes easily. But, for the rest of us, having direction and knowing where to go next can be a real challenge, and that’s absolutely fine too. It’s important to remember this. Try not to be hard on yourself if your direction isn’t clear yet.
Reflect on your studies
As well as assessing which subjects or areas you perform well in, it’s also important to think back to modules or activities that you enjoyed. Were there particular aspects of the course that were highlights for you? If so, why? Unpicking these things can help get to the center of what interests you and may help you decide on a clearer career path.
Looking at your personality is a really key thing when making these decisions, as different industries and job roles can require many different ways of working. For example, some jobs can be quite isolated and involve a lot of independent work, which can suit people who like to work alone, whereas others will require you to work closely with team members across all levels of an organisation.
Similarly, if you’re looking to progress into a management role, you will need to have an interest in building leadership skills and passing on knowledge to other people.
When thinking about your studies, it’s helpful for some people to break this down into lists. For example, you could make lists like ‘areas I am skilled in’, ‘topics/areas I enjoy’, ‘my personality traits’. Try to think inwardly and be honest, a lot of people find decision-making so much easier when their options are put on paper.
Do your research
Once you’ve got an idea of your skills and interests, you can start to look into jobs or industries where you might fit in. For some people this could be obvious, for others it might be helpful to do online skills or personality tests to understand what jobs might be right for you.
Some good resources are the skills assessment on the National Careers Service website or the Careers Explorer, which breaks down different job roles by industry.
Once you’ve got a bit of an idea of some of your options (even just a vague one!), it’s always helpful to talk to a careers advisor. Careers advisors have a lot of experience in speaking to people, identifying their skills, and showing the range of options available so you can formulate a career plan.
At Leicester College, we have a friendly and impartial careers team who are always happy to help with advice, resources, and understanding a career path based on your skills.
Also, make sure you join our Careers team live event on Facebook and Youtube on Wednesday 12 May to get more advice on where to start when thinking about what to do after your GCSEs.