It's important to know as much detail as you can about different careers and jobs, and about your own talents and interests so that you can match them against each other.
Then you are more likely to choose the career that suits you best, and the jobs that you will enjoy the most. You can get this information through:
Family, Friends and Others
Career and Industry Events
Knowing Your Interests and Talents
Career guidance Supports
Work Experience and Volunteering
Tips for approaching employers for work experience.
Family members, friends and other people we come into contact with during our daily lives can give us real insight into careers and jobs. We sometimes don’t think about these people when we’re trying to find out this information, but they are a great resource we need to take advantage of.
What about aunts and uncles, cousins, neighbours, people we mix with socially, or in the sports team we play in, or in other community or hobby groups we belong to?
They usually have a wide range of different jobs in different industries, and can give firsthand accounts about what their job involves; what training they had to do and the qualifications they needed; what the working conditions are like, the wages and career prospects; and the good and bad about the job.
They can give advice about the best way to get into that type of work. They might also have ‘insider’ information about job vacancies or placement opportunities in their workplace, and may be able to give support in getting you a job interview.
Make the most of what family, friends and others you know can tell you about their working life by asking them all about it.
Going to careers and industry expos is really worthwhile. These events can give you valuable information on career paths, jobs and the qualification you need. They are usually presented by industry experts, and are a fun way to find out about jobs. It’s important to visit as many of these events as possible.
Expos run at various times throughout the year, but mainly between March and October, and usually don’t cost anything to enter. Check industry and employer websites and careers sections in the media regularly to get details of forthcoming events.
Visit SkillsOne to view an online careers expo for major industries; videos on hundreds of different occupations, and career event updates.
Visit myfuture and create an account to experience the interactive mini career explorer.
One of the most effective ways you can work out where to start looking for a career and for jobs that may suit you is to think about what activities or hobbies you enjoy, the subjects you were good at and liked doing at school and the jobs that you have enjoyed in the past. For example, for school leavers , if you liked English at school and got good marks for it, there are a number of jobs and careers where the use of English is very important - jobs such as journalist, script writer, administration assistant, tour guide, and teacher- to name a few.
If you enjoy cooking at home and think you are pretty good at it, your talents and interests could lead to a career in the hospitality industry, in jobs such as baker, food processing technician, chef, caterer or dietitian, or running your own restaurant.
Visit Australian Government Department of Education and Training - Document library where you can search the document library by school subjects to find what jobs they can lead to, and the qualification level required for each job.
Another way to find out is to take a career aptitude quiz. This quiz asks you questions about your likes, interests and preferences in different activities, and then gives you an idea of what jobs or career would be the best fit for you. The following websites offer career aptitude quizzes:
You can get help with making decisions about your career choice by talking to a careers counsellor. Careers counsellors provide information, advice and guidance to help people make realistic choices about their education, training and work, and for those who may want a career change or need help with further training.
They help to identify options for suitable careers, build CVs, identify skills gaps, advise on where to search for jobs, help with the application process and locate relevant training courses.
Most schools and education providers have career counsellors you can speak to for free. If you're still at school, book in some time to talk to your careers teacher. If you're at university or TAFE, visit your student union to see what kind of career counselling services are on offer.
If you are not studying or at school there are always private career counsellors, though they generally charge a fee for their services. Visit Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) to find a private career counsellor who can help you work out your best career options.
Looking at a job description can help you decide whether a job will suit you. This document contains detailed information about the various aspects of a job such as the duties, responsibilities, the goals and objectives that are expected to be accomplished, and the skills and qualifications needed to do the job successfully.
Visit myfuture to explore detailed job descriptions and for other career advice.
Visit The Good Universities Guide to access over 450 job descriptions, and investigate different career paths.
Doing work experience or volunteering can be a very effective way to find out about a job or career.