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So you finished year 12. You put in the hard work and you moved onto what was next; maybe it was employment, training or further study.

You had a plan. But now some time has passed and…well…life after year 12 isn’t going as planned.

Maybe you’re feeling like you’ve failed a little – or lost time – but that’s not the case. Whatever experience you’ve had so far has helped you to grow in different ways; both personally and professionally.

Remember as well – if you hadn’t at least tried, you wouldn’t have learnt what you now know. When one door closes another opens.

Animation representing when one door closes another opens

So what do you do now? 

Being fresh(ish) out of school, you’re still young. You’re at the start of your journey!
The important thing to do now is to keep the momentum going

What’s next will be dependent on what you choose; there’s infinite possibilities. But we’ve put some solutions down to help get you started depending on where you’ve been. 


Maybe you had a particular career in mind that your course was moving you towards, but you’ve discovered it’s not for you. See if there’s other avenues to explore with what you are studying – you may find there’s another career that you hadn’t considered that could breathe new life into what you’re studying. 

If you’re off the idea of continuing study in your current area, take a look at other programs that you’d be open to, you may find that some of your past study/training can provide credit for your new area of interest.

full time or part time

If you’re feeling like the workload is too much, consider changing from full-time study to part time; it may take longer to complete your program, but you may find that doing so improves your enjoyment and overall performance.

If you feel like you need a break from study, you can defer but it’s important you keep growing yourself personally and professionally. If there’s another career that interests you, see if there’s any opportunities for doing volunteer work, work experience or a sit-in/observation to get a taste before you jump in with further study/training.

If you then decide it’s not for you, you’ll at least have volunteering/work experience on your CV which is always a good look!

If you’re still feeling lost – reach out to your tutor, course convenor or academic advisor at your university to get some professional advice. If you’re at TAFE, speak to student support services.


If you decided to enter full-time work after year 12, it’s not uncommon to feel dissatisfied.

Again – remember that you are at the start of your journey and the work experience you’ve gained has grown you personally and professionally.

For example, the organisation, communication and time management skills you use on your job are great assets to have on your side if you decide to head to uni, TAFE or another registered training organisation.

Feeling like you missed the boat?

Didn’t pursue tertiary options or VET in school? That’s okay, those options are still available to you.

You don’t need to have an ATAR – a number of universities have undergraduate bridging courses to help you get into your dream course.

Have a program you’re interested in? Reach out to the university for more information about entry based on your circumstances.

If you’re interested in heading to TAFE, you’ll find that there’s a number of great options available including free study for under 25s in high demand areas.

Still feeling lost? 

If you need a hand to work out your options or decide on the next step to get things back on track, the free Link and Launch service can help. They will work with you on a personalised plan that works with your life. You just need to have finished Year 12 in the last few years to get involved.