Once you get to 16, you’ve got some decisions to make about your future. Do you want to stay on in full-time education after completing the Leaving Certificate? Or would you prefer to start work and get training while you earn? Whichever route you choose, it pays to keep learning. More and more, employers are looking for people with higher level skills and qualifications. Although qualifications cannot guarantee you a job, people who have the right skills and qualifications have a better chance of finding a job with good prospects and more job security than those who don’t.

What type of a career would suit you?

One of the first pitfalls that people fall into when planning a career is to start out with the career instead of with themselves. Most of us can easily fool ourselves into believing certain things about our own personalities, attitudes, aptitudes, and characters. If you start with specific careers, you might end up narrowing your choices based on various opinions such as what you THINK you are good at, rather than what you actually ARE good at.

A good way to start planning your career is to think about what motivates you as a person.

Try to gain a better understanding of yourself, your needs, goals, plans, character, personality. Make a list of activities you have enjoyed – both inside and outside school or college. What was it about them that you liked? There are no Right or Wrong answers – for example, you might find that you enjoyed:

  • getting to know more about a particular subject
  • solving challenging problems
  • working as part of a team
  • meeting new people
  • working with your hands
  • working outdoors versus indoors

Once you have got a clear idea of your interests, the next step is to start looking for a career that matches up with them and then working back to identify what qualifications you require to make this career a reality.

When it comes to realizing your ideal career, start with yourself…and…choose a career that will open up more than just one door for you!