7 Things you should do for your career in Grade 8 & 9

Making subject choices is a crucial part of making a career choice as including or excluding specific subjects can open or close the door to certain careers paths. That is why you can’t wait until you leave school before you do the following 7 things:

1. Get to know yourself: Teenagers go through a lot of changes and in the process want to establish an identity separate from their family and friends. This can be a confusing time for you. This is why you should put some effort into getting to know yourself. You might want to keep a diary, do a timeline of important life events that had an impact on you, list your strengths and weaknesses and have honest conversations with people whose feedback you trust. If you want try something like learning a new language, read about Mandarin in schools here.

2. Try new things: Participate in a new activity or extra mural at school. You might be surprised to find something you are really good at or enjoy. You might also acquire a new skill that will open up specific career opportunities.

3. Meet new people: Talking to new people outside of your regular group of friends will expose you to new topics and ideas. This will in turn broaden your way of thinking and make you a more interesting person. You might become more open to certain career opportunities.

4. Job shadow: If there is any specific careers that you are interested in you should use a few days from each holiday to job shadow someone in that career. This will help you to assess if this is really something that you would enjoy. Real life might be somewhat different from the idea of the job and what it entails. That is why you can’t wait until matric to start job shadowing. Click here to read more about job shadowing. 

5. Be realistic: Focus on what you are good at and excel in, rather than getting stuck on what you can’t do. Everyone can’t be a professional sports star or a mathematician. But your specific set of skills will fill the right career perfectly!

6. Go for an assessment: You need to find your sweet spot, the things that you are naturally good at, what you are interested in and what fits your personality. This will ensure that you are happy in the career that you choose. Sometimes we need a professional to help us figure out what that sweet spot is. This is when an assessment with an educational psychologist or career counselor can be helpful.

7. Get creative: Some of the career options we have today didn’t exist 5 years ago. Don’t limit yourself if you have a creative idea. Do your research and stay up to date with new developments in the world of work. This can be as easy as reading the newspaper and talking to people in fields that you find interesting.