4th article for school leavers



As with everything you do in life maturity and an adult approach is what is called for. In this particular case maturity refers to your readiness to choose and to make a responsible decision regarding your future. With thousands of occupations to choose from this is not a particularly easy task. So where do you start? 

The most important and first consideration is “To know yourself”.  Know what direction you want to take in life. Sure you will make wrong choices, and yes you will change career direction from time to time. The important thing is, to try to reduce the number of times you might want to or feel the need to, make such changes. Far too many young people make career decisions for all the wrong reasons.  Changes will occur as you develop in your career. This will come about as you get to know yourself better and as you come to realise that, you have skills and talents of which you were not aware. The people you meet will also influence the career direction you take, as will the opportunities that present themselves as you proceed in life.  

You will never be totally certain that you have chosen the right career and that you will remain in this particular career for the rest of your life. There are however, certain things you can do to guide you in the right direction. 

  •  Seek guidance from your parents 

Your parents have had 18 or so years to get to know you and to have made certain decisions regarding you and your particular talents and abilities. Ask for advise and listen in a responsible and mature manner to what they have to say. Do not let your parents push you into a career, remember that it is your choice, but do listen to and weigh up what your parents have to say. Take guidance from them yes, but make the decision for yourself.


  • Psychological tests 

There are many good psychological tests available to assist in putting you on the right track. Seek the advice of a qualified career guidance counsellor who can help you to determine your career direction and at the same time establish how mature and ready you are for a career. Counselling of this nature will determine what areas of your life you may need to change and what career direction will best suit you.


  • Broaden you horizons and experience


Take some part-time work or do some voluntary work to help you establish what your likes and dislikes are. This will give you invaluable experience and will look good on your first CV. Consider all your options carefully. It is nice to do the things we like in life and nothing can be worse than being trapped in doing something we dislike.


You are starting out on a journey that will offer many challenges and a great deal of excitement. The attitude you adopt now will make all the difference in terms of what the future holds for you. Nothing more important than the image you have of yourself. Believe in yourself and in your abilities. 

Forget the past and accept yourself as you are today. Put the bad experiences behind you, forget the bad times and most importantly do not dwell on negatives. What happened yesterday is history. Learn from the experience and let it go. There is no point in living in the past. 

The future is what you make it and you have the right to choose. Self-confidence comes from having belief in yourself, a positive approach, and going forward in faith believing that the future holds great thing for you. 

Believe in who you are and in what you can do. Be positive about yourself and your approach to life. Those who dwell on the past are too lazy to move forward, they have no dream, no goal and no aspirations. 

You have some very special gifts and some fine talents that are unique to you. You must bring these to the fore for others to see. Accept the challenges that come your way and make the most of them. Set realistic and achievable goals for yourself. Reach for new heights and most importantly do not be afraid to try new things. Reach for the stars and take each day as it comes but in doing so give of your best at all times. 

From time to time, you will make mistakes. You might even fail at what you are doing. 

Is that such a problem? Not in the least!

Learn from your mistakes and remember that failures become new challenges and opportunities. The attitude with which you approach these obstacles is what makes the difference. Problems are opportunities so embrace them and tackle them one at a time. There are no easy ways in life and no shortcuts to what you want to achieve. Your success will require effort, dedication and above all commitment from you.   

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About Des Squire

I specialise in Employment Equity and Skills Development issues. Qualified facilitator, assessor, moderator, verifier and SDF. Available for any related assignments and or freelance work. If ou have a need let's meet to discuss. Quotes for training on request.

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