1. Do a Self Assessment

Identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Ask people you trust, and who know you well, to assess your strengths. Keep a record of things that interest you when watching T.V., reading newspapers and magazines. Which conversations do you find interesting? Ask yourself, why.

Think about the part-time, summer and volunteer jobs you’ve had. Try to analyze why you liked or disliked each of these positions. For example did you enjoy working with others or working on your own? were you happy in an office or retail environment or outdoors? did you enjoy teaching, helping others or working with technology?

2. Identify Passions

Pay attention to the things you find interesting and which stir up strong feelings within you. The feelings could be happiness, anger, excitement or a combination of all three. The key is the passionate feeling which will keep your interest level high during your work life.

These passionate feelings could be aroused by systems or programs such as the environmental movement ; by social issues such as child abuse or unfair treatment of a specific group in society; or by actual subjects like teaching, film making or family law. Identified passions can lead to our true life interests.

3. Do a Career Search

Make an appointment with a guidance counsellor and bring with you all the information you have gathered related to self-assessment. The counsellor will help identify career possibilities encompassing your skills, interests, values and passions. For each area of interest there will likely be many routes and many levels of jobs which will allow you to impact on the area.

After eliminating the career areas that do not interest you, do an in-depth search of the remaining options. Use the Metro Reference Library and the Internet. Do volunteer work, job shadowing and ask questions to people working in areas that are of interest to you.