Some courses, like medicine or hospitality, plug really easily into a job. Other courses don't have such a clear pathway into paid work.
Even if your course does have a career path clearly laid out, how do you know what you're studying is what you want to do for a job?
One of the best ways to answer this question is to talk to a career counsellor.
What career counsellors do
When we think about jobs and careers, most of us mainly think of what our family and friends do for a living.
Career counsellors know a lot about what kinds of work and training is out there. They can help you broaden your horizons and show you options you may not have considered before.
When to speak to a career counsellor
You might get help from a career counsellor if:
- you're planning to do work experience
- you're thinking about what subjects to study in Year 11 and 12
- you're trying to decide what uni or TAFE course to do
- you just left your job
- you're trying to get back into work after being unemployed
- you're thinking about changing careers
- you're struggling with your work/life balance.
How to find a career counsellor
Most schools and education providers have career counsellors you can speak to for free.
- If you're still at school, you could talk to your careers teacher.
- If you're at uni or TAFE, visit your student union to see what kind of career counselling services are on offer.
There are also career counselling options if you're no longer studying.
- CEAV Career Counselling Australia (CCA) offers career counselling services for individuals and groups in Victoria. Their David Obsborne Community Careers Centre allows you to drop in to work on your resume, cover letter, research course information or search for jobs. For a fee, you can also make an appointment with one of their qualified career practitioners for more in-depth one to one career counselling. If you have a health care card or are experiencing difficulties you may be eligible for reduced fees. For enquiries, call 03 9433 8000.
- The Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA)'s Looking for career advice page lets you search for a private career counsellor. Note that these counsellors will charge a fee for their services.
Other people to talk to
Career counsellors aren’t the only people you can go to for advice about studying and training. You can also talk through your ideas and concerns with:
- family members
- other adults you trust.
It can be hard when you’re under pressure from your parents or other people in your life to make a particular decision. You shouldn't let other people pressure you into making a decision, though.
If this happens, consider asking those people to come with you to speak to a career counsellor together. A career counsellor might be able to help them see your circumstances and opportunities differently.
More career planning resources
For more information about career planning, visit:
- Our Career profiles - Over 200 interviews about the jobs people do.
- Our Plan your career pages - Tips on how to think about what job you want.
- myfuture - A database of career profiles and courses (note: a free membership is required to view this site).
- Career Bullseyes - Charts showing school subjects and the jobs they can lead to.