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    You've got your exam results-what now?

    This is decision time. You’ve found out your exam results and it’s now a key moment in your life as you contemplate which way these results will take you. What does this mean you can do? What are the choices in front of you?

    How clear are you about what to do next?  The lucky ones will have a vocation in mind.  It is unlikely that this will just land on you.  More usually this is something that has been in your thoughts for years – possibly since you were very young.  It will have been a key drive for you throughout your studies as you will have known what standards were expected to realise your goal.  This is a small minority of students though.

    For most, the choices are there and the uncertainties about what routes to take need to be decided upon.

    If you are unsure about what route to take, you have two choices. First choice,  remain in the education system and keep studying or second choice, go out into the labour market and start experimenting with career opportunities. 

    If you continue to study, be sure to stick to a course and to subjects that you enjoy.  Your studying will be more enjoyable and easier.  You will find that as your studies continue, you will increasingly be able to see the areas of your broad subject area that you find more interesting and enjoyable. Seek more exposure in those areas – do more projects in those fields and find relevant holiday work too.  You will build a better knowledge base and a more impressive back story for any future employment.

    If you go out to work, recognise that it is going to be tough and it will take you time to find what career you really want.  That’s ok though.  Keep at it and keep moving to gain experience (even if you sometimes are not well paid or not paid at all).

    You have choices and you have options.  You also have the realities of life.  Can I afford not to work?  Can I afford to go to university where I am likely to incur high debt?  Is that what I want to

    If you decide to go to university, is a gap year going to be useful? Gap years can be incredibly useful but they don’t suit everyone.  How clear are you about what you would use a gap year to do? What outcomes do you want from it?  If it is going to be one long holiday, that’s fine but does that fit your plan and can you afford it?

    One option is to explore teaching options as well as further education. An interesting way to combine this could be to do a teaching degree online in order to get you started on this career track. 

    So many questions and so much choice!  Consider your options.  Apply the rigour of a reality check.  If in doubt, and if you have the talent, stay a student.  You will continue to learn and you can watch the world from the safety of your institution knowing that you can work on what to do; when you get out and become an economic worker.

     Author: Simon North-Position Ignition Co-founder and Career Guide

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