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There’s nothing more freeing than finishing year 12 and entering a world where the opportunities are endless.

But as you may have discovered, having so many opportunities and choices can be a little overwhelming.

Ever go to a restaurant and get stuck trying to pick something off the menu when you’re starving? You’re spoilt for choice, and when you do pick something, you’re left wondering, ‘hmm what if I chose something else?’.

There’s actually an official term for how you may be feeling: ‘The Paradox of Choice’.

So how do you make a choice, when the options feel endless?

The first thing to know is this: what you choose to do now, doesn’t have to be the thing you end up doing for the rest of your life.

The workforce is changing to the point where it’s predicted we’ll have up to 17 jobs across five different industries over the span of our lives! So don’t worry, you don’t have to feel like you’ve messed up if it turns out you want to do something different later on.

So where do you start when it comes to figuring out what you want to do?

You start with you.

Start by asking who you want to be. This will likely help you answer what you want to do.

Here’s some questions to get you started:

  • What makes you happy? What’s your different – the thing that fires you up? This could include discovering new music, volunteering, or making videos.
  • What are your goals? Do you want to be your own boss and have your own company? Or would you prefer to be part of a team at an established company?
  • What do you value? This could include spending time with friends and family or pushing your creativity.
  • What are your interests?
  • Are you chasing big money?
  • Who do you want to be like? Who are your role models and what makes you admire them?
  • What kind of lifestyle are you after? Do you want a family? Do you want to explore the world? Or both?
  • What are the things you don’t want from a career? Maybe you don’t want to work at a desk? Maybe you don’t want the traditional 9-5 hours?

Once you’ve tried that, try asking your friends or family what they think your strengths are. For example, ask them to describe you in three words. They may bring up things that you would have typically overlooked about yourself. Knowing these can help direct you towards a career that uses your strengths to their full potential.

Once you’ve had some time to think about who you want to be, you can start digging deeper into what it is that you want to do.

Remember you are not alone – check out our support page.

Good luck with whatever comes next!