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Really need help finding my dream career.

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    Hey Lads and Ladies,

    I really need help with this - i'm 21 years old and I dont really have an ideal job to aspire towards. I left school half way through fifth year due to family issues and like that had a bit of a stressful time during highschool, enough of a stressful time to bring me to the point of not caring about what grades I get and just having no thought for the future at all.
    So now I sit here, without the best of grades under my belt, with a major thirst for knowledge but no idea where to focus it.

    I dont want to write a book so I will try and summarise this; i'm 6' 2" at least and growing up (til about the end of primary school) I wanted to join the police, like I said through highschool I had little aspiration and when I foolishly left I managed to get a place in the IBM doing a Modern Apprenticeship in IT... which I HATED. Being a pawn behind a desk just really didnt cut it for me. I finished that got my MA and now im behind a desk still.

    Please help me out with this, ive gave it a good think but I just dont think my school offered nearly enough careers advice so my general interests have never been discussed.
    IDEALLY, the job will have some meaning to it.. I will be leaving my shift each day hating the fact I have work tomorrow but loving the fact that what I did that day has been a good contribution to a good cause. This is the basis of my job wishes - have some meaning.

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to read!
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    Charity work?
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    Hey there, i'm afraid I'm not really sure what to advise you, but do you have a local "connexions" branch? they offer careers advice. unfort most areas only offer it up to 19 years, but they may be lenient with this age rule
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    Hi ThirstforKnowledge!

    How fantastic that you have come here for help. Finding a fulfilling career is something many of us struggle to do. One thing I always tell the younger members of my team at work is that no job will ever fulfil you 100% - no matter how much you love what you do, there will always be aspects you don't enjoy as much - but if you can get to the point where you're loving what you're doing more than 50% of the time, then you're onto a good thing. So, how can we get you to that point?

    First of all, get yourself a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle to make two columns. Give one the heading of 'my skills' and give the other the heading of 'my ideals'.

    Under the 'my skills' heading, write down all the things that you are good at, both personally and professionally. Nothing is too insignificant to write down - if you're skilled at using Excel, for example, put that down, if you're good at supporting other people in a managerial capacity, put that down, if you're good at solving problems, put that down and so on and so forth until you have a good number of skills in your list.

    Under the 'my ideals' heading, write down what you want from a job. 'Personal satisfaction' isn't good enough - what EXACTLY would give you personal satisfaction - sit down and really think about it. A job that involves you using your hands? Mentoring others? Outdoors? Indoors? Desk based? non desk based? Working with young people? Working for a charity? Working for a big company? Working for a small company? Keep going and keep digging until you've teased out what it is that you think would make you happy in your employment. It doesn't matter how trivial - write it all down!

    Now, once you've done your two columns, have a look and see what sort of picture emerges. How do the skills you have relate to the things you've said you want from your job - what patterns emerge? For example, if you have great IT skills and want to work with young people, then becoming an IT teacher, or a trainer for young people who are out of work and need to develop their IT skills, could be options. If you are a strong organiser and want to work in a sporting environment, why not become a facilities assistant at a gym? There are so many different career choices out there for people without traditional qualifications, and thinking outside of the box is key.

    Once you've done your lists, come back with your results and I can see what I can come up with. I also need to know your exact qualifications in order to best advise you as you may need to do some additional skills training to get to where you want to be.

    (I am a volunteer careers advisor by the way!)
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    Rachel im gonna find you and hug you! Someone who helps someone as much as you do deserves to be knighted not these actors. I'll get right on it! Do you mind me PMing you these once I have it done? Either way i have a great way of structuring everything and a great idea of what to do from here!

    Thanks again... A LOT!
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    Oh you are more than welcome! I enjoy it!

    Sure, send them to me when you're finished and we'll take it from there!
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    Great! Like the first person suggested charity work would be good, but i have life plans, id like to have a family etc. Not the most ideal doing this on jobseekers haha!

    Red cross would be great id love to work abroad helping people abroad but like anything decent i need to be a doctor or something else that requires higher qualifacations than mine!
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    (Original post by ThirstforKnowledge)
    Great! Like the first person suggested charity work would be good, but i have life plans, id like to have a family etc. Not the most ideal doing this on jobseekers haha!

    Red cross would be great id love to work abroad helping people abroad but like anything decent i need to be a doctor or something else that requires higher qualifacations than mine!
    Theres always redoing grades if they are something that is an issue stopping your from doing something you want! Or access courses... You are still young lots of people at my medical school were mid - late 20s when they started (and a few 30 somethings too!).

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Updated: March 19, 2012
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