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Grab The Meic: How Do I Know What Job I Want?

Dewi is thinking about his future and worried that he doesn’t know what job he wants to do. He contacted Grab the Meic for advice.

Grab the Meic is your opportunity to ask us about anything that’s worrying you. We’re here to listen and give advice. If you want to #grabthemeic, check out this page, but remember, this advice is not instant. If you need advice quickly, please get in touch with the helpline.

Hi Meic

I don’t know what job I want to do. Can you help?

Dewi*

(*name changed to protect their identity)

Meic’s Advice

Hey there, thanks for getting in touch. So, you need to figure out what you want to do for a job. It’s normal for someone not to know what they want to do, and it can happen at any stage of their working life.

Most of us have that one friend or family member who has always seemed to know what they wanted to do for a living. It can make it seem like we all should have a single career in mind and always be working towards it. Most people don’t know what job they want, or if they do, they might change their minds once they’ve tried it.

I’m not sure what stage you’re at; you might still be at school and wondering about a future career, or you might have left school already without a definite plan for what you want to do (or maybe your plans didn’t quite work out as you’d hoped). Either way, you can do plenty of proactive things to test the waters and see what you enjoy and are good at.

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Where to start

Finding the job you want can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It can be worrying and nerve-wracking. However, your mindset is an important thing that you can control. You could look at this problem as a fantastic opportunity to try something new and experiment.

Job fairs, Job Centres and Careers Advisors

The first proactive thing you can do is research what your options are. Rather than just scrolling through long lists of available jobs, try actively seeking out employers, advisors, and mentors to talk with them about what types of work you enjoy, what skills you have, and what kind of environment you want to work in. Attend job fairs, visit your local job centre or make an appointment with a Careers Adviser through Careers Wales. You can always try temporary work (temping) through an agency to gain experience in particular fields.

Apprenticeship and internships

Apprenticeships are a popular route into various careers, giving you the support you need to learn how to do a skilled job whilst also letting you earn as you go. If you’re studying for a degree or a recent graduate, an internship is a great way to gain experience related to your degree.

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Entry-level contract work and travel

If you can’t commit to a longer-term plan just yet, you might as well enjoy your work and gain some transferable skills at the same time. A wealth of jobs offer opportunities to work whilst you travel or have new experiences that don’t require long-term commitments. Many of these start at entry-level, meaning you don’t need developed skills to apply. Consider roles at language schools, activity centres, or event organisers, to name just a few. These are often a brilliant way to meet new and exciting people, have a change of scenery, and figure out what you want to do next. Some people move from contract to contract for a while, like a mini-career.

Volunteer

Broaden your experiences and skillset by volunteering. Volunteering has many benefits, including increasing your skills, experience, and contacts. Your circumstances will decide how much time you put into it and how involved you are, but it’s always worth looking around and trying things out. Check out the Volunteering Wales website for advice and ideas, or Meic can help connect you directly to your local Volunteer Centre.

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Work for yourself

Working for someone else isn’t for everyone. You might have an excellent idea for a business or have the skills and drive to be a freelancer. There are challenges when it comes to being self-employed, and it’s an idea to try other jobs first, so you have some experience before going it alone. But, if it’s something you think would suit you, it could be worth the extra challenge. 

Further information

Careers Wales is a great starting point when it comes to jobs and careers. They’re trained to find the best options for you. Contact them here. Or, take some of the quizzes on their website to see if can help you find the right job for you, get information about different jobs and see what industries are good to get into for the future. All information is here.

Check out Meic’s Employment and Volunteering help pages. If you want to discuss these ideas more, Meic is here to listen. Chat with an advisor to discuss the best options for you and where you can go to get the support you need. Meic is a free, bilingual helpline, open from 8am to midnight every day. Call us on 080880 23456 or chat with us online.

Take care

The Meic Team