It’s okay not to know what you want to do with your life

Three students walking near an advice hub

When you’re in primary school, the answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” doesn’t seem like a hard one. But as you head towards the end of high school, the question gets trickier to answer.

It can be hard to balance the dreams of your childhood (astronaut, chocolate factory owner, rollercoaster tester) with what’s realistic, what’s going to be enjoyable, and what you might eventually earn a living from. Plus, in the world of rapid technological advancement, it can be hard to know how jobs might change and evolve by the time you start working.

What do you like?

A good place to start is figuring out what you do and don’t like. If you’ve had the chance to take your year 10 work experience, you might be able to use it as a reference point. If you haven’t, maybe you’ve had a part-time job or volunteering experience you can use instead.

Think about what parts of those experiences gave you energy, and what parts of those experiences made you feel totally drained and exhausted. Make mental notes of which are energy-giving; they’re the ones you might be able to sustain doing over a long period of time.

Remember: there will be things you love doing, but wouldn’t like doing every day of your life. Try to think about which things fit better as a hobby, and which things could be your career.

Stay flexible

Got a few things you think you might like to do? Good.

Think there’s no possible way you could do anything else? Not so good.

Try to remain flexible in the way you think about your future, because you’ll probably change your mind. Research shows Australian professionals change their career path an average of five to seven times over the course of their lives. And this doesn’t include the amount of times they might have switched classes or majors at uni!

Even our most successful students have changed their minds about their career once they started uni. Take Georgia for example, who transferred from a teaching course into a Bachelor of Commerce, Morgan, who pursued marketing and finance after mechanical engineering, or Ben, who transferred to chiro at Murdoch from exercise science at another university.

If you’re not sure if you’ll have the grades to get into the course of your dreams, we have a wide range of enabling courses designed to help prepare you for uni life. Just look how Nikhil managed to get into the course of his dreams after his ATAR score fell short.   

Keep your options open and explore your potential

If you don't know what you want to do with your life, you can still give yourself as many career options as possible. Coming to a Murdoch University event is a great opportunity for you to explore your future and chat with academics and students about courses, careers and uni life. You may also be able to experience a range of helpful activities, including:

  • Think Generator, where we'll help you discover how you think and explore what areas you might be suited to.
  • Meeting current students - giving insights on what it's like to study at Murdoch and tips for getting the most out of your uni experience.
  • Hands-on activities in a wide range of courses to give you a taste of what awaits at uni.
Posted on:

25 Jun 2021

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