Not everyone gets to the end of school and knows what they want to do. In fact, most people really have no idea and may not know for years. They just get in and give different things a try until they find the job that suits them best.
But you don’t have to try every single career option yourself. There are plenty of places to look for inspiration and get the inside scoop on what a career is like ‘on-the-job’. The people you know, websites, video series, case studies, and blogs can all hold great advice and examples of what other young people like you have tried before.
You probably won’t want to do exactly the same thing as someone else, but you can take information from different sources to create your own path.
1. Challenge Disability Services
A great place to start is asking people you know how they started their career and if they have any advice. Challenge Disability Service’s blog regularly features stories from local young people with a disability who have made the transition from school to further education or work, just like Tonya Lewis who works at Secure Scanning Solutions. Tonya started by doing work experience, then accepted a permanent position and has spent her time at work building her computer and interpersonal skills. Challenge’s ebook, the School Leaver’s Complete Guide to the NDIS, also provides useful case studies of people making the transition from school to adult life alongside advice on navigating the NDIS.
2. Create Your Future
You can also find stories about people in similar situations and learn from their experience. If you enjoy watching videos, the National Disability Coordination Officer Program’s Create Your Future series is fascinating. Each video recounts the experience of a person with a disability as they transition into and participate in education and employment after finishing school. These videos are well produced, interesting to watch and easy to access. It can also provide a much-needed confidence boost if you are thinking about going to university but aren’t sure what it will be like.
3. Youth Central
The Victorian Government’s Youth Central is the go-to site for any young person looking for straightforward information to get started on all aspects of the education, career planning, job search, employment, and vocational training. The site uses easy-to-understand language and how-to guides but has no special accessibility features. In the Youth Central Career Profiles you can search through the job lists to read interviews with people who are employed in positions that you are interested in. The site includes straightforward language and useful advice on the steps to take to secure a career and what to expect when you get there.
4. Get Ready for Study and Work
The University of Western Sydney’s Get Ready for Study and Work portal is packed full of information, web links, and resources for school leavers who live with a disability. The site is well designed and easy to navigate. For each topic, it describes the key aspects with downloads and step-by-step guides to the process. You can also download their Get Ready Workbooks for both young people and their parents, in a variety of versions to match your reading level or cultural background. Not only do these workbooks guide you through the process of deciding your path after school, it also includes case studies to help you get inspired.
5. Australian Disability Clearinghouse
The amount of resources available on the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training website is astounding. So much so that it can be confusing on occasions. However, it is an excellent resource with lots of accessibility options such as captioned videos, high-contrast viewing, and audio buttons. There are case studies and lots of tips for preparing for education and workplace training. If you are looking for ways to build your skills, the website is an excellent resource lots of links to useful worksheets, downloads, articles, videos, and resources to help plan for post-secondary education; on disclosure and discrimination; and advice for moving from education to employment.
There are lots of places you can find information about the variety of jobs people do, how they found them, and what they did to ensure they had the right skills. To help narrow down the options, check out Challenge Community Services new ebook Resources to Help Navigate Life After School. The ebook is packed full of useful websites and downloads that can help decide what you want from your life.