After all, that’s what school should be about: giving you the right skills and qualifications to get a job that you love. But where do you start? Here’s a quick and easy plan to follow without feeling overloaded. All the resources are free to use. Mix things up or pick the bits you’re interested in – you don’t have to do everything. It’s your future. Enjoy exploring!
Step 1: What am I good at?
Start by getting to know yourself. What are your strengths? What kind of person are you? What job might suit you? Activity 1)
Take the 5-minute fun Buzz Quiz
to find out which animal you are and which area you might like to work in. Activity 2)
Inspired? The 15-minute Prospects Career Planner Quiz
continues the search for your perfect career. Activity 3)
Which path from school into work might suit you? Listen to 3 very different stories from Bejay
Step 2: What am I interested in?
Find out what jobs are out there. There are loads you’ll never even have heard of – and plenty of exciting opportunities to discover. Activity 1)
See where your favourite subject could lead at BBC Bitesize Careers
. Activity 2)
Chat to your family about jobs. What got your parents/carers interested in their first job? How did their interests change over their career?
Step 3: What skills are employers looking for?
We hear plenty about how important qualifications likes GCSEs are, but skills are equally vital. But what actually are skills? Activity 1) Watch this quick introduction
to the skills that employers want. Activity 2)
List all your hobbies and interests (at school and outside). Write next to each one the skills these have helped you develop. For example, drama is great for communication skills; sport helps develop teamwork. Activity 3)
We need to keep skills and learning relevant in a changing world of work. Read about and listen to these people
talk about their hopes and concerns for the world of work and what this means for skills and education.
Step 4: Listen to employers
Employers can’t visit your school right now to share their experiences, but you can still find out more about the people behind the job titles. Activity 1)
Listen to real-life stories about different careers on iCould
. Activity 2)
Watch real people doing real jobs on CareersBox
– often the more unusual ones!
Step 5: Find out what going to work is really like
OK you can’t physically enter the workplace right now, but there’s plenty you can do to get a good idea of what goes on. Activity 1)
Get advice and stories
from ‘The Nine to Five: Five Teens, Five Industries’ TV series on the ultimate work experience then watch it here
Take part in virtual work experience with Barclays Life Skills
through an interactive video. Help solve problems and complete real-life tasks.
Step 6: Understanding the ‘job market’
It helps to understand how the world of work … works! Activity 1)
Find out how jobs are divided up into industry sectors using Career Pilot. Choose 3 jobs you might like, then use Careerometer
to compare them. Activity 2)
Imagine you’ve finished your education and are looking for a job in Buckinghamshire. Did you know that space, creative, advanced engineering and digital health are growing sectors? Check out what’s available locally right now
. Explore the results by adding a job title or skill in the search bar to the left.
Step 7: Step into the NHS
The NHS is in the news all the time, but did you know there are over 350 roles available within it (many non-medical) and it’s the single biggest UK employer? Activity 1) Step into the NHS
and take the quick and easy ‘Map your career’ test to identify roles you might like. Activity 2)
On the same website, explore the real-life stories, listen to what staff say about working there and look at the Careers A-Z.
Step 8: Explore apprenticeships
Have you considered doing an apprenticeship after school? Keep an open mind about alternatives to university. Activity 1)
Find out what an apprenticeship is and what the different types are at the Government’s Apprenticeship Hub
and then watch case studies here
. Activity 2)
Play around with Find an Apprenticeship
: select an area of work you’re interested in, enter your postcode and just get ideas for the future. Activity 3)
Want to find out more? This interactive student guide
is aimed at Years 12 & 13, but if you’re younger you’ll still get lots of out of it
Step 9: Visit a university
Step 10: Get ready for work!
It’s never too early to start preparing to enter the job market. Activity 1)
: read about ‘Building Your Professional Brand’ and then watch the videos ‘The Importance of Networking’ and ‘CV Master Class’. Activity 2)
Write (or develop further) your own CV. Read the tips at Success at School
then use the ‘What should I include when I write a CV?’ checklist.