It’s a good idea to visit a careers adviser to talk through the things you are interested in. You can make an appointment with your local branch of Skills Development Scotland, and you and the adviser will talk through your potential career options.
Looking at employer websites and Linkedin pages can help give an idea of what they are looking for. It can be really useful to look at the career journeys of employees who work for your dream organisation. This can help make things seem less daunting as it shows many paths can lead to the same career. Employers often value diverse work and life experiences. You should make a profile of your own, and follow people who work in the area you are interested in. You can add us on Linkedin, follow jobs we post there, and see our work histories.
It can be hard to know what level of work to apply for. Understanding how your experiences until now equip you for a role is important, and employers appreciate self awareness and a willingness to learn. Enthusiasm can make up for gaps in experience, but this only goes so far… It can be helpful to call up employers who are advertising and get a feel for what they are looking for in applications.
Work shadowing can be a useful way of getting to know the type of work you want to get into. You may want to contact employers to see if you can visit their workplace and spend time with their employees. Thinking of asking employers to let you shadow can be daunting, but many are keen to help people in this way. If you are thinking of doing this and want some advice then please get in touch with us.
If you aren’t really sure what you want to do, or are just looking for a job to gain money and experience, don’t worry. Think about things you like, stuff you’re good at or would like to get better at and do a bit of research. Every experience will have useful learning that will help you grow in confidence, skills and understanding.
Even work that doesn’t turn out quite the way you expected can really help you figure out what you should be doing instead. Think through things you haven’t enjoyed. What was it about them that didn’t fit with you? If you are open to lots of work, then it can help to have some rules about what you definitely do not want to do.
If you have been thinking about starting your own business there may be support available from Business Gateway or the Princes Trust. They often run free courses about various aspects of business, and going along to these could give you a taste of how you might go about starting your own. Again, shadowing can be a good way of gaining an understanding of what goes into self employment.
Think about the kind of adjustments you might need in work, and find out more about them so you can visualise doing tasks you are maybe worried about. Online peer support groups are great for meeting other people who face similar barriers, and for sharing how these barriers can be overcome. There is a lot of peer support on Twitter and Instagram as well, so it is worth exploring and finding something that works for you. Also, Inclusion Scotland has information on this part of the site which covers adjustments which may work for you.