1. Think about what you enjoy
What are you passionate about? If you’re not sure, ask yourself a few questions.
What did you like doing most when you were a kid? It might have been drawing or painting, writing stories, baking cakes, building cubby houses or exploring.
Then at high school, did you shine in drama class or on the sports field? Were you great at organising social events? Or maybe your friends would come to you with their problems because you gave good advice.
And what interests you most now? Are you a fitness fanatic, or someone who can comment on current events on social media for hours? Do you like fixing things or working out how to use new gadgets?
Write a list of the activities you’ve enjoyed most in life. There are also plenty of online resources like Oprah’s Find Your Passion exercise that can you help you think about what matters to you most.
You could even take an online test, like ‘CareerFitter’, to see the types of roles that could suit you best – including some you may not have thought of before.
2. Boost your skills
If you’re feeling drawn to a particular industry, the next step is to make sure you have the right skills to get your foot in the door. This might mean taking a course at TAFE or else through an online provider if you prefer learning from home. There are stacks of training options out there ranging from IT and business management to natural therapies and aged care – and everything in between.
Another approach is to start working as a temp or contractor. This can help you build up your skills and experience in a specific field and grow your network while figuring out if that kind of role is right for you.
Of course, you don’t need to commit to a lifelong career straight away. Chances are you’ll change your mind a few times over the years as you gain experience and learn what else is out there. So, if you don’t find something you like immediately, don’t worry.
3. Put yourself out there
When you’ve set your sights on the type of job you want, it’s not going to come to you. Chances are you’ll need to apply for a bunch of positions and go through some nerve-wracking interviews before you land your first gig.
You might also try building your professional connections through networking events and online platforms like LinkedIn. And who knows – one of the contacts you make might even lead to a new job opportunity.
Remember, not many people find the perfect job the first time round. For most of us it’s a case of trial and error, and all part of a lifelong learning experience. But by putting some thought into it when you’re starting out, you’ll be well on your way to making your career journey as rewarding as possible.
The good news is that you can take your superannuation with you whenever you change jobs. This can help you avoid paying multiple fees on different accounts, or losing track of your super altogether. If you have an Essential Super account, simply log on to NetBank and click Share account details with employer whenever you start a new role.