The entirety of year 12 is stressful. Subjects get harder, workloads expand, information is overloaded and in addition to all of this, the question of ‘what are you going to do for the rest of your life?’ is looming. Let’s take a step back from the usual responses and answer the question in what could be the most relevant way possible..
‘I’m going to do what I feel is right for me’!
If University is right for you: A lot of you will decide to stay on the more traditional path after completing VCE and head to Uni. So how do you enhance your choice of tertiary education and the ‘Uni experience’ to its fullest? For starters, look at a Uni as a whole. A lot of people isolate the course itself and hone in on what the qualification means post completion. The reality is you will be at this Uni for the next few years so while it’s great to be happy with your course/unit selection make sure you like the vibe and location of the campus, are happy with your time table and are able to engage in extracurricular activities if desired. It’s very easy to get caught up in the notion of University being the determinant for the rest of your life that the fear stemming from this concept allows you to rationalise really far fetch sacrifices, such as commuting 2.5 hours to get to a tutorial four times a week. If you want to get through your degree and maintain your sanity then allow yourself logical flexibility during your selection and enrolment process.
If working full time is right for you: While some people are more than happy to obtain employment in a ‘nothing job’ (a role that allows for no real skill or career development) others will seek to gain employment in an area of interest to them. This is a fabulous way to confirm any queries about an industry and assess if it is a field of genuine interest to you. Again, let’s touch on some realities of this option. Firstly, full time work will be a bit of a shock to the system. Unlike school, the hours are longer, the breaks are fewer and the demands and expectation are higher (believe it or not). Don’t throw in the towel week one day three because you’re tired and in need of a sleep in, you will adapt. Secondly, don’t exaggerate your expectations. Because it’s unlikely you will bring oodles of experience and qualifications to the role, don’t expect a competitive salary, an office with a view and trust to complete tasks of complexity. There’s nothing worse than the school leaver of 2013 walking into their new job with an air of deserved entitlement just because they landed the role in the first place. Maintain a disposition of gratitude and be willing to complete the not so glamour tasks. Appreciation of an opportunity demonstrates loyalty, loyalty earns trust and trust allows you to progress within the company.
If travel is right for you: If you have the means to embark on adventures into the unknown post VCE I am exceptionally envious of you. Soak up the experience to its fullest because once you come back home to reality, life often gets in the way and hinders your ability to take a holiday whenever the mood strikes.
Travel can be a brilliant way to expose areas of passion you can pursue once you arrive home. I have many friends that have taught English overseas and upon their return commenced an education degree; others have decided to engage in a more humanitarian lifestyle and for some travel has been the acknowledgement that they still have a little more soul searching to do before they make any kind of work, lifestyle or study commitments.
There is only one right choice when it comes to post year twelve decision making and that is to decide what is right for you at that time in your life. It’s hard to look past what is the immediate future, but know you will be a different person, with different aspirations and a different personal structure five years from now and any decisions you choose to make at that stage of your life are OK too!
Harvest Human Resources offers careers workshops to help individuals make informed decisions about their career.
Blog Post by Louise McGuinness, Associate Consultant, Harvest Recruitment