It’s a brave new world out there once you leave school. It’s a transition that’s exciting, scary and at times totally unexpected. Whilst I’ve got a few grey hairs, I’m still young enough to remember it vividly. I was full of juice, eager to see what the future would bring and had a somewhat vague idea of where I was heading.

Starting down a career path is usually top of mind for school leavers and young people. The loaded questions “What do you want to do? Who do you want to be?” weigh heavy on the mind. It’s a tonne of pressure for a young person to deal with and the road to success is not always linear. Economic, social and political boundaries have shifted.

Young people have a unique set of challenges in a world that is more agile, changeable and fast paced than ever before.

Here are a few real life tips that will set you in good stead when embarking on your career journey.

1. Lock down your social

Potential employers can and will go online and stalk your profiles. If you’re fast and loose on social media take advantage of your privacy settings and lock down your profiles. Even a throwaway comment or pic might trip up an opportunity for you.

If you’re comfy having public profiles, live by this social canon “don’t post anything you wouldn’t be happy for your old Granny to see.”

2. Spend time with yourself

Having a better understanding of what drives you and where your values lie will go a long way in directing you towards the type of work you want and the industry you work in. Spend the time to get to know yourself before you start out on a career path. Good news, you’re young – time is on your side!

3. Follow what you’re good at

Chances are you have a certain hobby or interest that you spend a lot of time doing. It might not seem like something you could turn into a career but why not try to leverage the skills you’ve built and explore complimentary career opportunities? Maybe you’re a mad gamer? Have you thought about a career in tech? Do you love watch films or reading? Perhaps consider studying the arts. Are you a social butterfly who loves bringing people together? Look into a career in PR or event management.

If you get bored easily, finding a career path that excites you will help keep you motivated and on track.

4. Take advice when you need it

Do your research. Go online, talk to people and find supports in your local area that will help you achieve your goals. There are services out there to designed specifically to help get young people into work, especially in regional Australia where there are more barriers to employment. A program like Smart, Skilled and Hired has been launched across NSW to help young people and school leavers become work ready and kickstart a fulfilling career.

If you’re a young person recently out of school or unemployed, we want to help you get a job! The Smart, Skilled & Hired Youth Employment Program is aimed at supporting young people and school leavers into training and employment. We can help connect you with training, mentoring and work experience placements to build your skills and experience and get you into the workforce.

The Smart, Skilled and Hired Youth Employment is delivered in partnership with our Network Partner CoAct Employment and the NSW Department of Industry.