School is a wonderful time and for many it is one of the most incredible periods of their lives. It comes with a load of freedom, great friends and with not too much responsibility or pressure. The real question though is what happens when you leave school and fly the nest? What are the factors that you need to consider and how do you start to make plans to survive and thrive in the real world? It is not always easy, and it certainly requires a whole lot of thought and preparation.
If this is a juncture in life that you are approaching, here are a few things that you might want to consider.
Studying is good.
Getting a qualification behind your name is very important as it will help you get a foot onto the career ladder. But don’t be silly and commit to a five or six-year degree if you are not sure that this is something that you want to do for the rest of your life. As much as studying sets you on the road to a career it is also expensive and time consuming. If you think you know what you want to do, but you are not one hundred percent, then maybe start unpacking the field with a one-year diploma course.
If you think that you have a way with people and that HR might be the way to go, perhaps search diploma of human resources online. Use this to decide for definite if HR is for you. If it is, build on the diploma, if it isn’t, well you have not lost too much time finding out.
Taking a year out after school can be a great thing to do if you are not lolling around at home doing nothing. A gap year is not about doing nothing, it is an intentional choice to travel the world, explore charity work or to volunteer. It should act as respite from the previous twelve years of school and studying and be a chance to recharge batteries and find focus as you prepare to move ahead with the rest of your life.
There is so much talk about degrees and university that people tend to forget about the more traditional ways of learning a trade – the old-school apprenticeship. If you want to be a baker or a farrier or a cooper, or even a plumber, you can go to work for an expert and learn from them. You might not walk away with a certificate or a degree, but you will have acquired a tangible skill.
Nothing to lose.
One of the best times to launch your own business is when you have nothing to lose. As a fresh out of school person you will be in exactly that position. You have not yet set about building a career for yourself, you probably have no dependents and your financial obligations will be limited. So, think about harnessing your youthful energy and creativity to build a business of your own. A business plan, some seed capital and a can-do attitude could well see you running your own empire before the rest of your mates have even graduated university.