Choosing the right work

Children are used to facing questions about what they want to be when they are older. Of course, aged seven, the possibilities seem endless and it's a long time until you'll need to actually take any action to get to your dream job!

Some of us can end up being a lot older without really knowing what to do with ourselves. Now that astronaut might seem like a bit of a stretch, it can be hard to sift through the more conventional options out there and discover what you're meant to be doing with your life.

There's plenty of formal and informal help out there, however, so you should find the right sources of support for you. Here are some ideas, as a starting point.

Try the thing you have in mind

If you feel like you might be interested in chef jobs, for example, you can't be sure that it will suit you if you have no experience whatsoever in the kitchen.

It's a great idea to test career types you're serious about before you make the big steps such as taking training or taking on a new job in that line of work.

This will help limit the chances that you will be part way down one career path and realise you're not happy in your job!

Work experience without a long-term commitment is an obvious no-risk trial run. For example, if you want to be a chef, perhaps you can get some experience in a kitchen?

Ask people who know you

People may not always want to let you know what they think you would be good at unless you ask. After all, it could be seen as a little intrusive for someone to present a life-plan to you that you might not agree with!

But friends, parents and relatives who know you well could well be able to point out parts of who you are that would match certain types of job well. The final decisions are all yours, but a spot of advice never hurt anyone!

Study job adverts

What does an entry level job in the line of work you're after look like? What will you be expected to do every day, and does that seem like something you would enjoy? Reading about the sorts of jobs that are out there is one way to pick up some ideas about the kind of job you might like.

Soul search

Soul searching without guided advice can simply lead to more confusion if you're not careful, especially when you don't have a full overview of the sorts of careers that are out there.

But having a good think about what you have – and would like – to offer the world can be a good starting point in answering the big career question. For example, consider your personal strengths and think about what sort of jobs might help you harness them.