How to Start Thinking of the Job You Want (When You Have No Idea What You Want to Do) (French version available)
As you prepare to graduate high school, it may seem like all your friends and classmates have everything figured out – leaving you confused about the future and too shy to admit it. The truth is that many young people aren’t sure about what they want to do with their lives (even those who are well into their university degrees). It’s important to remember that you don’t need to have the next ten years planned out – and even if you did, that plan would probably change in a hundred ways as you learn and grow. That said, it’s a good idea to think about the kind of job you want in the future so that you can start cultivating the skills, experiences, and credentials you need to be successful. But how do you start when you have no idea what you want to do?
- Reflect on Your Skills, Needs, and Preferences
Sometimes, the best way to predict the future is to explore the past. Think about the last few years of school. What classes or subjects did you tend to enjoy? If you liked math, you could start your job search by researching related fields, like business and finance. When you are unsure where to start, it is best to follow your instincts.
You should also reflect on your past work, volunteer, and extra-curricular experiences. Have you ever been involved with a club or team? If so, what did you enjoy about it? If not, what prevented you from getting involved? Think about future job opportunities related to the activities you’ve already grown to love. If you spent four years on the student council, you might enjoy leadership and public-speaking roles. On the other hand, if you worked there for three months and then quit, these roles might not be the right fit for you.
- Do Your Research
There are thousands of jobs out there, and, likely, you haven’t even heard of most of them. If you’re unsure what you’re looking for in a career, take some time to educate yourself about the possibilities.
- Review Career Profiles on JobsPeopleDo.com to explore your options.
- Browse job listings on popular websites like Indeed, Charity Village, Glassdoor, and Monster. Which options stand out to you?
- Talk to people. Set up a conversation with someone who already works in a field that interests you. You can ask them questions and learn insider knowledge about the work involved.
It may be challenging to figure out what job you’re looking for if you have limited experience. Search for opportunities to try out different roles, such as volunteering or job-shadowing. If you have no idea what you might be looking for, then you really can’t go wrong.
The Government of Canada has a list of volunteer opportunities for teenagers and young adults. You can gain experience in community development, youth mentorship, environmental conservation, and other important areas of social action. Whether you love the role or hate it, you will learn something new about your likes, dislikes, and skills.