Planning your career

Some people might already know exactly what they want to do when they leave school, but if you're not one of those people then don't panic.

Even students at college and university can be undecided about which career they would eventually like to follow. Don't worry about having to make a final decision too soon as most people today will end up having several different careers in their lifetime.

Professional footballers and rugby players are good examples. They know that the time will come when they will be too old to play, so they plan their lives in such a way that they can then move on into business, coaching or other fields as they get older.

Your grandparents probably only had one type of job (or even one job) all their working lives. You, on the other hand, will probably work, re-train, change career, or do further study. You might even find yourself working in a different country.

So although it's not vital that you decide once and for all what you want to do, it is important to have a range of skills that you can adapt to different jobs and workplaces. These are often called 'transferable skills'.

Here are our top picks over on My World of Work!

Picking subjects/Qualifications

Towards the end of your second year at school you have to make your subject choices, so you will have to start to think about what you might like to do career wise. Doing this will help you choose the right subjects to study. 

This may seem a little bit scary, but don't panic, it's all designed in such a way that you cannot make any big mistakes by choosing the wrong subjects at this stage. The subjects you do select will impact on the higher courses you will have the opportunity to study in senior years. 

If you do have any worries about subject choice, ask for help from your careers adviser or guidance teacher. Also finding out where your strengths lie can really help with this too. 

Also check out this brilliant little section from the Career Experts to help you make the choice.  

Interests and abilities

Following your interests and abilities is always a good start. Don't limit your choice too much until you have checked out all the details.

Once you have got a clearer idea of your main work interests use your school careers library and the My World of Work website to get an idea of which subjects you need to take. 

Getting ready to leave school?

Thinking about your future after you leave school? This Enquire guide gives you questions to think about and suggests people you can talk to. It also explains what your school may be able to do to help you get ready to leave. At the back of the guide you'll find a list of projects can help you with jobs, volunteering, benefits and more.

Finding the information you need

Regardless of whether you want to be an airline pilot, an artist, an in-flight attendant, a car mechanic, a CSI, or a police officer, you can always start finding out more about what's involved now.