Making Decisions for your Future

So, you've done the hard work and you've got your GCSEs. How did you do?
Or maybe you’ve not quite got the A Level results that you were hoping for…
Or perhaps you’re returning to education to further your knowledge and enhance your career.
In all circumstances, you will need to know how to make decisions for you and your career.
This may seem like an important choice you have to make at the moment, but it's also important to keep a sense of perspective. It is possible to change your mind after all, and A Levels are not the only possible options. There are lots of different routes to get to a future career.

Choosing A Levels

Perhaps choosing your A Levels is fairly straightforward for you; maybe you already know your own strengths and the subjects you like. If this is so, then you can congratulate yourself on having the personal insight to know what you are good at and how to make decisions that are best for you.
Personal enthusiasm and interest in a subject are really important for successful study. If you come out with good A Levels grades, you can then decide whether or not you want to do a degree, a degree apprenticeship, an apprenticeship or vocational education, or perhaps even enter the world of work.
But if this isn't you, then it's time to collate your thinking about A Levels with future career possibilities (even if this sounds scary to begin with).
So, this is where the sense of perspective comes in: you will need to do some careful thinking about where you see yourself and what you really enjoy doing. But this shouldn't cause you unnecessary stress.  Even if you don't get it right the first time, you still have options, such as changing your A Level choices once you've started the new academic year, or selecting to study a new subject through distance learning.

Choosing a career

If you have your heart set on a particular career, then now is the time to do some research about the degree you would need to gain in order to get there.
Ensure you look at a range of university courses and consider the A Level entry requirements carefully, so you know that your A Level choices can get you entrance onto the kind of degree course you wish to study.
But if at this stage, you aren’t yet sure on a future career and you are also lucky enough to be good at most subjects, then instead you should think about what you might like to do with yourself in the future.
You don’t have to make any firm decisions just yet, but instead, you could come up with a career ‘feature' which you know is important to you. For example, perhaps working with people, working with numbers or working creatively are ‘career features’ which appeal to you.
In which case, make sure you take appropriate A Levels for what you see yourself doing, even if you don’t have a job title just yet.

Planning your career features

And how do you find your personal career features, I hear you ask? Start by writing out a big list of everything which you like doing now, whether that be career or hobby-related. For example, have you always been the kind of child who makes jokes and enjoys being the centre of attention? In which case, working with people and being creative may be your career features. This would then lead you to consider a range of career options within the media, entertainment or creative industries – and even if you don’t yet have a single job title, you can still start to plan your A Levels accordingly.
Good luck, and don't forget to check all the flexible education options available to you from Open Study College!

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Sharnie Carter

Passionate about marketing and education. Currently studying a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing via distance learning. When I'm not working or studying, I'm spending time with my young son and husband or hinching!

Making Decisions for your Future