Careers advice

Careers advice can, and does, come from all sorts of people and places – friends, parents, the internet, television, teachers and career or personal advisers. The point is no one knows you like you do BUT it usually helps to talk things through with other people that either know you pretty well or who know a lot about choosing a career path and where to find information.

Impartial advice

People who know you can be an invaluable source of help, but you need to think about the effect their position may have on whether the advice they give you is unbiased. That doesn’t mean that you should not seek their help or ignore it when they give it, just weigh it up and consider it when you’re preparing by thinking about your achievements, skills and knowledge.

Career choices are so important that it is worth getting an impartial, independent view of your ideas from a careers adviser or personal adviser. You can find your nearest careers centre from the sites at the top of this page, or at your school or college.

The more you know about yourself and the options open to you, the more the adviser can help you. However, if you are stuck between choices or just can’t think through your skills and achievements, still seek help from the career/personal adviser – they will know how to unravel the problem.

There may be a teacher or lecturer that you relate to particularly well and who may have thoughts about the direction that you should go in. If that is the case, get them involved in talking to the career or personal adviser, if you feel comfortable with that.

What the adviser will not be able to do is to tell you what you should do. It’s your job to make the final decision, with their help.

Just as in preparing for a job or course application, careful preparation can reap rich rewards in reducing the chance of making the wrong decision BUT risk can never be ruled out entirely, people and circumstances change.

Making sure that you have the right skills and information to make the best choices is what career education (usually part of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)) is all about. The skills and information that should be covered are:

  • Sources of information
  • Transferable skills, we have listed some in ‘Applying for courses or work’ such as, teamworking, leadership, innovative and creative approaches and self-motivation
  • Being able to analyse your achievements, interests and skills to make realistic choices
  • Knowing about the options open to you
  • Just as preparation is key for applying for jobs, courses or work experience, so you should prepare before seeking advice and guidance from a careers adviser (Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) or personal adviser (England).