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How to choose a career that fits you

Everyone knows that one person who always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. But just because you didn't always dream of becoming a lawyer/doctor/engineer doesn't mean there isn't a great career path out there just waiting for you to find.

By TAFE Queensland

Choosing a career that fits you

If finding the 'perfect' career seems impossible, that's because it is. Research suggests the average person will change careers five to seven times in their lifetime, so trying to figure out now where you might be in 30 years is a waste of time. All you really need to figure out is where you want to start, the rest will work itself out — trust us. To help you decide, here are some different ways to pick a career path based on what's more important to you. 

High-demand industries and careers

Just because a job sounds cool (dolphin trainer anyone?) doesn't mean it has strong job prospects. If you don't have your heart set on a particular career path, finding a job that pays well and is in high demand is a good starting point. Instead of stressing if you'll get a job after you graduate, with a qualification in an in-demand industry chances are employers will be fighting over you before you even graduate.

So which courses are a smart choice in today's job market? A Diploma of Software Development (ICT50718) could set you on the path to a career as a software developer, currently the most in-demand role in Australia. If you've got a creative mindset, a Diploma of Marketing and Communication (BSB52415) could unlock a role as a marketing coordinator or manager. Or if you're more hands on, a Diploma of Building and Construction (Management) (CPC50308) could open up a role as a construction manager. 

Jobs that involve travel

If you've caught the travel bug, a career that gives you the chance to travel around the country, or even the world, could be a good option for you. While COVID-19 has put most of our travel plans on hold for the moment, as restrictions ease and borders start to re-open it's clear that people's desire to travel isn't going anywhere. 

If a fast-paced career in tourism sounds right up your alley, a Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management (SIT50116) can help you kick start your career in tour operations or travel agencies. Or if you really want your career to take off, why not consider a career in aviation? With payment options and accelerated study modes available, you could be taking to the skies as a commercial helicopter or aeroplane pilot in as little as six months.

Careers where you can work from home

The COVID-19 pandemic has made working from home the new norm. For many it was a breath of fresh air allowing people to skip their commute, set their own hours, and avoid the usual distractions of the office. With technology making it increasingly easy to work remotely, and the threat of future virus outbreaks looming, many people are now considering working from home permanently. If working in your ugg boots sounds like something you'd enjoy, why not try narrowing down your career options to jobs that can be done from home? 

Essentially, anything that can be done via a computer can be done from home — think business, admin or IT. For example, a Diploma of Accounting (FNS50217) could open up opportunities to work remotely in an accounting firm, or in an accounts or payroll team in any large organisation. Or if numbers aren't your thing, a Diploma of Website Development (ICT50615) could allow you to work from home as a freelance web developer. 

Rewarding jobs and career options

For many people, having a job they enjoy that pays the bills is enough. But if you want a more rewarding role, then maybe you should consider choosing a career where you can make a difference in the lives of others. Finding a career that gives you job satisfaction is different for everyone, but employees often report the most rewarding industries to work in are healthcommunity services, and education

If a career helping others sounds like something you could be interested in, there are plenty of study pathways than can get you there. A Diploma of Counselling (CHC51015), Diploma of Youth Work (CHC50413), or Diploma of Mental Health (CHC53315) could open up a career as a case manager, counsellor, youth worker, or mental health worker. Or if health's more your thing, a Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) will allow you help others in their time of need as an Enrolled Nurse. 

Career choice quiz - myPROFILER 

Should you be an accountant or an auto electrician? A baker or a beautician? A carpenter or a child care worker? With so many choices out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed. If you're still not sure how to pick a career that fits you, why not try a career choice quiz like myPROFILER? This free online tool can help you uncover what's important to you, what you're interested in, and suggest personalised career options based on your preferences. 

Find my career with myPROFILER