What are your dreams for the future? What do you want to be? You are the one who has to choose what you are going to use your years in upper secondary education and training for. It is therefore a good idea to give careful thought to which education you want to concentrate on, and what you think you will like to work with in the future. It is important that you make this your own choice!
Talk with your parents and with the educational and vocational counsellor at school about different education options and choice of career.
What is suitable for you?
It is necessary to know yourself when choosing an education and an occupation. First and foremost you should find out what your strong sides are. This gives you self-confidence, and this is important for making a good choice. Ask yourself:
- What am I good at?
- What am I interested in?
- What do I like doing?
- What do I dream of doing?
Your abilities, aptitudes and skills
At school you have most certainly discovered which subjects you find easiest and which subjects you struggle with. In which direction do your abilities point?
- Are you good at the theoretical subjects? What do you like best, languages or mathematics?
- Do you have artistic aptitudes, do you like drawing and painting or playing an instrument?
- Are your abilities more practical? Do you enjoy cooking, sewing or doing carpentry, repairing or tinkering with engines?
- Or are you best in the physical education lessons?
By qualities we mean what sort of person you are. This is relevant for your choice of future occupation.
- Are you social? Do you like being with many people? Is it easy for you to talk with and get to know other people, or are you happiest with a few good friends?
- Are you able to cooperate with others, or do you prefer to solve things yourself?
- Are you good at listening to other people’s ideas and opinions?
- Are you trustworthy?
- Do you like things to be tidy around you, or is a little creative untidiness fine?
- Are you full of initiative or do you prefer others to make decisions and put things right?
When you apply for jobs at some point in the future, the employer will place great emphasis on your personal qualities. For example, whether you are trustworthy, whether you have little absence, and whether you can cooperate with others and work independently. Your attitude to work and those you are going to cooperate with may be at least as important as good school grades. Therefore your grades in orderliness and behaviour are important!
If you can work with something you are interested in and motivated for, chances are that you will succeed. But you cannot always count on being so lucky that your interests correspond with a certain education or a special occupation. However, you may find the area you are interested in in several education programmes. You should also consider that interests change rapidly in your teens. Other interests may appear in addition to those you already have.
It may be necessary to take your own health into consideration when choosing an education and occupation.
- Some occupations require greater physical strength than others.
- Allergies may limit your options.
- There may be special requirements as to vision or hearing, or other special requirements in certain occupations.
These are things you should examine before choosing an education. Ask the educational and vocational counsellor if you are in doubt.
The expectations of others
It is a good idea to spend a lot of time with your parents talking about the different alternatives and options. Listen to advice from family and friends. Ask the educational and vocational counsellor at school, too, and others you trust, for advice.
It is not unusual that parents, siblings, family and friends have decided opinions about what you should become. Many parents/guardians have great expectations for the future of their children. But the final choice is yours to make! You must not let yourself be influenced to choose something you do not want, just because others think it is the right thing for you.
Occupations and gender roles
Working life needs diversity! Do not let yourself be led by ideas that some jobs are for men, while others are more suitable for women. It is important that you choose your education regardless of traditional gender roles. Think thoroughly about what you want!
Investigate all your options
You probably know a lot about different occupations, and you may perhaps have an opinion about which occupations may be suitable for you. But are you sure your overview is good enough? In vocational education and training alone there are almost 200 different vocations you can be educated for, and university college and university education opens up a number of professional options.
- If you like speed and excitement, and think that perhaps police, fire fighter or pilot could be suitable for you? Then you might also consider occupations such as ambulance worker, security guard or flight control leader?
- If you have considered working in the health sector as a doctor or nurse? Perhaps you could also look at other health occupations such as for instance hospital orderly or manual therapist?
Be curious and open when considering your options. You will probably discover that there are a lot more alternatives than you thought there were.