What's the right career path for me?

It can feel overwhelming deciding what your next step is after you complete school or college.

What if you make the wrong choice? What if your results mean your first plan won't work now? Are your dreams all over? Aaargh!

The hashtag #NoWrongPath was started by Developing Young Workforce in Scotland. It tries to take the worry out of these decisions around exam time by showing different people and the journeys they took to the careers they’re in now. Some career paths are very straightforward. Other people find surprising routes to get the career they want. For some it is a journey of discovering what they enjoy and find fulfilling.

The best advice is simply to do something you enjoy and have a real interest in. You’re more likely to work harder and succeed at something you really want to do.

Heather's social anxiety led to her leaving school, but when she landed a job in customer care, things turned around for her

Often however, it doesn’t feel that simple. If you’re having a hard time deciding what’s next for you:

  • Try and make decisions at a time you feel well-rested and have the energy and space to think.
  • Talk to people you trust and seek advice, but remember that it is ultimately your decision. What do you need to do next to get to where you want to be?
  • Think of the impact of the decision you’re making. If you go to university just because everyone else is, will you enjoy it? Do the benefits outweigh the stress?
  • Finally, if you’ve made a decision and realise it's not right for you, don’t panic – you can go back, and you can start again. There is #NoWrongPath.
Rachael found school a stressful experience but since then she has gained valuable life skills through volunteering

Remember that Results day isn't the only time when you can make decisions about your life and career.

If you feel like school just hasn't worked out for you, that doesn't mean you don't have choices. Remember, no matter what life throws at you, it's your life and you can shape your own future.

Gerry turned his life around after leaving school with disappointing results.

Your guide to SQA results day
list
Do what you love, love what you do
list
SQA results day - all the feels
list
Apprenticeships.Scot
My World of Work – Exam results
UCAS: How to use Clearing