How do you work out what you want to do in life?(29 Posts)
Not exactly an AIBU, but
How do you know?
My DS (19) is really struggling with this at the moment. He's working in a fairly well paid P/T role at present so he's earning about £400 a week before tax, but it's all evening and weekends, and its not a career - he's been there nearly a year and most people are newer than him.
He's got A levels but didn't want to go to uni.
When in 6th form he thought about teaching but did some practice in a local primary and hated it. So that was out. He has thought about accountancy as He did a related subject for A level but a friend is doing it at uni and from what he's heard DS doesn't want to do that either. He has no interest in IT or anything (the route his younger brother is set to go down), is no good at anything practical, like me he is a leftie, quite clumsy and not good at practical tasks. His main interests are football and watching idiots on YouTube, neither of which lend themselves to careers
I knew what I wanted to do when I was 14 so I don't know how to help him...What can he do? How can he work out what will interest him? He's also got used to a good salary now so I know will be reluctant to give that up for something paying less...!
It’s for him to find out. You can’t do that for him and neither can we.
I’m 36 and still have no idea. But i know what I like so will probably move towards that sort of career in a few years.
I’m still trying to work that out and I’m almost 38. He’s got plenty of time.
I know I can't decide it for him!
He's said to me that he finds it hard not knowing what he really wants to do. The fact his 16yo brother already has a career planned isn't helping.
DS is in some ways quite mature (not in others) and talking about the future, saving for a deposit etc, but he feels he needs to work out his direction and get a proper job first. Which I agree, I just don't know where he can start because I've always know what I wanted to do.
What is he good at? What is he interested in? Where do his aptitudes lie? Is he a people person or someone who'd be better off working on their own?
The answers to all those things will point him in a direction/area. Then he can look at what (if any) types of related employment there are. Volunteer to do some work experience. If he likes it then go off and get the qualifications he needs to do it.
The great danger is to think you have plenty of time and one day you wake up and you're a 30 year old with no direction in life.
Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans...
He's ok at most things, I don't think there's anything that stands out he is really good at. At school his favourite subject was Philosophy and Ethics. However that doesn't lend itself easily to careers!
He is definitely a people person. He is very sociable and everyone likes him. However he would hate to do any kind of sales or recruitment work as he isn't that confident when speaking.
Does he like what he is doing right now? Can he look into going higher up the chain and perhaps working full time?
You can train as an accountant while working in an accountancy and earning decent salary. You don't need a degree. Some of the top firms take people with A levels only. You need to look for paid study leave within the job.
It might be a good idea to try a week of work experience at a local firm first. He could do this on his annual leave. His current employer does not need to know.
My son (now an accountant) went to comedy improvisation classes in order to get better at public speaking. It really helped.
How about him getting a general admin job in the NHS? Once in, he will get experience of working a range of different people from finance, contracting, portering, service improvement , IT, estates, legal and healthcare staff. He could then transfer to a department he is interested in and do training to work his way up.
Has he looked at doing an Apprentenship?
There are several strands. Maybe he should look at Digital marketing/marketing?
He won't earn as much but would try his skills in a 9-5 job.
How about hospitality or events planning if he is a people person?
All through school I wanted to be a science teacher, then panicked and chose accountancy as a degree at the last minute.
I am an accountant now - it is not a bad living, tbh.
Since his work is PT, can he look at taking some of the basic first year uni courses that transfer to most degrees like a basic English or business communication and first year calculus? Maybe a fun elective like astronomy?
He thinks university is a waste of money.
He was looking at apprenticeships before he got this job but the pay was awful, £12k a year or less, and that put him off, especially as it wasn't something he was particularly interested in either.
He could possibly do something in the daytime around his current job, so long as it finished by 4 as he leaves for current job at 5.
He's been a but spoilt by current job. If he was working for min wage in a factory or something I think he'd be willing to take anything else!
His current job is in a theatre (FOH). There are supervisor/ management roles but he'd have to be there years to get one of those I think.
What Colour is Your Parachute For Teens is a good book, a structured way of thinking about what you like/are good at and developing ideas of a future path
It’s strange that he’s not interested in uni if his favourite subject was philosophy!
Has he looked at civil service apprenticeships? You can go into a wide range of roles and I’m pretty sure the pay is reasonable.
There are also great apprenticeships with firms such as PWC but you need stellar A level results. They are definitely well paid.
If he's not that interested in the theatre it seems a shame to work there. The hours are not good for a young man's social life.
He has a friend who's just joined the police
however for various reasons he would be unlikely to get in. It was something he seriously thought about when younger though and went to police open days etc.
His A levels are pretty average. I think BCC or possibly BCD. He has got friends who got into uni with less though, but it's mainly the cost of uni that puts him off. I think if there were no tuition fees he'd be more inclined!
Civil service might appeal. I'll mention it to him.
Most of the people he works with currently are resting actors or recent drama school graduates. He's the only one without a drama background.
I think it's different for everyone. I 'fell' into my job now, long story short I was approached by the organisation for a position I'd never done. Was very loosely related to what I was doing and they offered me the job without interview and I wanted a change so on a whim took it. Nearly two years later and was the best decision I ever made and I'm sure this is the area I'd like to stay in long term in my career. Wouldn't have necessarily applied for it had it come up though!
Maybe encourage him to apply for jobs that he knows he won't hate but doesn't mean he has to commit that this is what he wants as his 'forever' job. Get some experience and try things, he's still young to know exactly what he wants to do I think.
I think if you don't know then you should just find a good job and work hard. Over time he'll probably figure it out or opportunities will come up for him to try other things. My DH is now a director in a big company (internet based) but at 19 he was fitting car radios then he moved into the technical side of that then he started his own company with a friend building websites and setting up networks. One of their big clients asked if they wanted to go and work for them 10 years ago and they said yes and after that he just worked his way up. He earns a lot of money but at 19 he had no idea what he wanted to do and was on minimum wage! I've only just figured it out at 39. At 19 I was temping to save money so I could travel in Australia - which I did for a year. He doesn't have to decide now - there is no pressure. Sounds like he is doing pretty well anyway
I also think university if a waste of time (and I have three degrees). IMO a few things: 1. take personality tests (MB for example, and loads of others, obvi these are not accurate but give you some ideas) 2. do internships to understand different functions of corporates, e.g. HR, finance, marketing, product development, these are likely to be unpaid, but valuable experience 3. speak to people in different roles to understand what they do
Ethics I think can be related to careers - I love that sort of thing ! Anyway - lots of jobs with ethics and values built into their professional foundations ... probation , nursing , social work , police . Maybe law ?
I had a job role which combined law , health and social work . Ethics and practice were central . Ethics are important and it's great to know your dc likes . My dd did it and I was thrilled at the sixth form talk - was so interesting .
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