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Can you believe it? Year 12 and your entire school life is (finally) reaching the end!

So what’s next?

Well, you’re probably hearing ‘what’s your plan?’ a lot. We get it, it can feel a bit much.

Your friends seem to have a plan for what comes next, maybe that’s a job, apprenticeship, uni or a gap year. But what if you don’t have a plan?

Guess what? That’s fine. Here’s why.

Finishing year 12 has been the focus for so long, and that alone is a massive accomplishment. Even if you’ve been thinking about it a lot, it’s okay if you’re not too clear on what you want to do next.

You don’t need to decide what comes next right now

Graduation is an important step that opens the door to a bunch of different options. While the number of options might feel overwhelming, the best thing to do is to give something a go.

While it might seem scary jumping into something you may not be 100% about, it’s much easier to transfer between courses once you’re in, and whatever you do can count as credit or RPL towards other qualifications.

If you are thinking about TAFE or uni, there are multiple intakes per year. Same for apprenticeships and traineeships. So if you’re not sure right now, it’s all good.

You don’t need to have your future completely mapped out

Heaps of Year 12s who think they’ve got it all mapped out end up changing. The point is, whatever you decide to do, you’re not locked in for life. Sometimes, you don’t know what’s suited to you until you try it, and sometimes the thing you thought was totally you, totally isn’t. Enjoy the journey and give things a go. Remember, new jobs and careers are still emerging, so a broad and varied skill base is your best bet at being prepared for tomorrow’s job opportunities.

Take the pressure off yourself!

You’ve waited for this for nearly 13 years, so make the most of the final stretch! Focus on what’s next when you’re ready, and when you are, here’s some options to get you cracking.


Options to explore:

  • Think about the things you really (really) don’t like – no point doing something you don’t care about.
  • Find some hobbies that could form the foundation of a career. Like recording videos? You might want to consider videography. Maybe you enjoy pulling things apart and seeing how they’re built – there’s a bunch of trade and technician roles out there that could be perfect!
  • Research your options. There’s more paths than just uni – check out the VET course options (yep – there’s lots of options).
  • Go to careers expos (some unis are even holding virtual open days). Brisbane has a big career expo each year but you might want to check out career expos and events in your local area. Here’s one in Townsville.
  • Do a personality test. While they may not make direct recommendations about your ideal career, they are great conversation starters for what motivates you and what your preferred way of working may or may not be. Here’s a good one from Open Colleges.
  • Check in with your school guidance officer (or alternatively a career advice officer or industry liaison officer). They have the knowledge and resources to help you dig into your passions and career options.
  • Talk to someone who can help work through your options. The Link and Launch service helps Year 12 graduates to identify the options after school. They are located in many locations across Queensland and can help you explore the possibilities and make a plan to get started.

If the thought of school ending makes your head spin, remember, it’s a big change and it’s okay to ask for help. If you need extra support for potential career pathways or controlling your head space, check out our support page.

Need extra help?