You may already know what kind of career or post-secondary program you want to pursue. If you don’t, these resources can help you figure out your learning path.
Questions to ask
Who are you?
- what are my values?
- what is my learning style?
- what am I good at?
- is there anything I want to avoid?
What motivates you?
- what interests me?
- what is important to me?
- what am I passionate about?
- what inspires me?
What may you already know?
- what do I want to study?
- what do I want to do for work?
- what sort of work environment do I prefer?
- am I ready for post-secondary?
It’s okay if you can’t answer these last questions yet. Write them down and come back to them later.
CAREERinsite interest and career quizzes can help you get a better idea of where your strengths are, and what kinds of careers or learning you want to pursue.
Writing in a journal is a great way to keep track of your self-discovery. Make time to write in your journal every day. You can use your journal to record:
- your interests
- your career quiz results
- research you’ve done about possible career or learning options
- write down significant experiences in your life
- what you want for yourself in the future
A vision board is a visual representation of what makes you happy, and who you want to be.
Creating a vision board before you start planning your career can help you find a direction. Keeping that vision board – and updating it as your plans become clearer – can help you stay on track.
You can build your own vision board by:
- asking yourself what makes you happy
- completing this vision exercise if you need help organizing your thoughts
- finding items that help you visually represent what you want to see on your vision board:
- cut and paste pictures
- draw something
- find other visual cues to add to your board (for example, if you want to be a fashion designer, you can paste scissors or a sewing pattern to your board, and an internationally-renowned designer you admire)
Your board doesn’t need to cost a lot to create. Supplies you may need include:
- poster board (or whatever you want to use as your base – it could even be a picture frame)
- magazines for pictures, or craft items you can add to your board (like stickers or other small items that represent what you want)
What you paste on your career board can help you figure out what your career path could be. What makes you happy, or your long-term life goals, can help you start building steps to get there. Your board can also keep you focused on your end goal as you learn.
Your board may also change as you learn more, and grow over time. Keep adding to your board, and removing things, as your goals adjust.
Learning Clicks ambassadors
Learning Clicks is full of advice from students who either are in, or have just graduated from, Alberta’s advanced learning system. Reading their personal stories can help you:
- explore options you may have not have considered
- discover planning resources you may not otherwise have known about
- figure out how Alberta’s post-secondary system works, and the supports available to you
- identify tangible steps to help you achieve your goals
Depending on your situation, you may have access to a career counsellor:
- high school students can talk to their school counsellor
- adults working full-time can explore if their employer offers counselling services as part of an employee benefit program
- Alberta Supports helps low-income Albertans access the supports they need to find a job
There are also career counsellors that charge a fee for the services they provide.
Know you’re ready
It’s sometimes difficult to know if you’re ready to enrol or go back to school, especially if you already have a job. Going back to school doesn’t guarantee you will find a job, but it does improve your chances.
If you’re not sure which direction is right for you, think about your future. Ask yourself if going back to school will help you find a better job or pursue the career you’ve always dreamed about. If you’re considering taking on loans to pay for your education, how does that cost compare with where your career will (or won’t) go if you don’t?
Can I afford it?
Many licensed career programs are eligible for student aid, which can help you meet your education and living expenses while you're in school. If you’re not eligible for a student loan, you may need to find other ways to pay for your education.
Having a financial plan can also give you peace of mind while you study. Read about different ways to pay for your education.
What if I don’t meet basic post-secondary admission requirements?
You may need to consider upgrading or foundational learning. These programs can help you:
- finish high school or improve your grades
- improve your English as a Second Language (ESL) skills
- build your literacy or classroom learning skills
What if I can’t attend post-secondary full-time?
Many adult learning institutions in Alberta offer part-time learning options. You can also look for online or other distance education choices available in Alberta. Keep in mind that these options may not qualify for student aid, so you may need to pay for your education in other ways.
When you have finished figuring out who you are and what you want to achieve, you’re ready to explore your possibilities.