School leavers are facing a very different job market than school leavers of 20 years ago. Traditional careers such as teaching, banking, and law are falling by the wayside, and it’s now far more common for professionals to work in multiple sectors or keep shifting between different sectors. With so many career options spanning so many sectors, it’s never been more important for leavers to know exactly where they’re going.

As students leave education and begin their journey into the world of work, they are faced with new challenges that previous generations never had to face. With longer working hours, extra commitments, and steep learning curves, it’s essential that employers offer support, advice, and guidance to their young employees.

Define your goals.

Leaving school is tough, and it can be hard to know where to begin a career. After spending years studying and gaining critical skills and qualifications, school leavers may be feeling confused by the process of entering the working world. The first steps are defining your goals, planning your future, and working out where you would like to work.

Research career pathways.

On the last day of your education, you realize you’re leaving for the real world. The real world, however, is far bigger than you might imagine. There are hundreds of different careers that you may never have even heard of, so you need to do your research to find some that sound appealing. You might be surprised by what you find!

Develop your skills.

As the school year draws to a close, many students will be wondering how to expand their horizons. Many sectors are suffering from a skills shortage, so it’s a good idea to develop your skills so that you’re a more desirable and valuable employee. Employers are always on the lookout for people with more skills than anyone else, so it’s important to upskill yourself when you can.

Find support (and use it).

It’s not easy transitioning into the real world, and many struggle to adapt. If you’re unsure which direction to go, ask parents, older siblings, teachers, or career advisors about what they’d recommend. Remember, they’ve already been through all of this before, so they have a real experience that they can look back on.

Work on your soft skills.

They will also help you succeed once you enter the working world. Knowledge is power, but even more so in the working world. But knowledge also comes in different forms. Soft skills are just as important as hard skills and are more important for future employers. They are what distinguish you from other candidates and help you demonstrate your capabilities.

Get into a routine.

Working out how you are going to manage all those commitments, a job, and your social life during your first few months in the working world can be pretty daunting. There are so many things to think about and organize, and that can sometimes be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to get organized and get yourself into a routine as early as possible in your first few months at a new job.

Develop your network.

Many education leavers feel uncertain about what their future holds. There is excitement about starting a job but also nervousness about entering the working world. As a young person, it’s unlikely that you have any network at all, so it’s time to start reaching out to people and getting to know them. In the real world, it’s about who you know, not what you know.

Be clear and honest.

There are several things to keep in mind when entering the workforce. One important tip: be honest with potential employers. They are looking for people with the right skills and knowledge, but beyond that, they want to know you’re reliable, dependable, and able to do what you say you can do. So, if you’re being honest, you’ll be more likely to land the right job, and you’ll be able to start your new career on the right note.

When you start your career, it can be super exciting and terrifying at the same time. You’re going into a job you don’t know yet, where you don’t know anyone, and you think that the only way to meet new people is by joining a networking group. But, when you join, it’s often the start of something amazing. So, put your best foot forward and get out there!

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