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

Notes about uni on a pinboard

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 in your mind 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. Which is not including 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 Morgan for example, who transferred from an engineering course into business, Genna, who pursued sustainable development after nursing, or Ben, who transferred to chiro at Murdoch from exercise science at another university.

Whenever we ask current students for their uni advice, the most common recommendation is not to be afraid to change your direction once you start uni. Take it from those who have been there and done that – you’re better off keeping an open mind.

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. An event like Open Day is the perfect opportunity to get a taste for a whole range of different options, so you can continue to define your path.

Murdoch Open Day is open to all ages and has a range of helpful activities including:

  • Think Generator, where we help you discover how you think and explore what you might be suited to.
  • Industry talks, including a panel of current students, careers and employment centre representatives and Murdoch academics giving insights on future careers and tips for enhancing your employability.
  • The opportunity to speak with academics, lecturers and students to learn about study, careers and campus life.

And when you need a break from the serious stuff, you can also enjoy live music, a silent disco, fun games, activities and great food.

Join us at one of our Future Students events to learn more about our courses and admission pathways.

Posted on:

8 Jul 2019

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