Learn how to make decisions about your future by considering all available options.

Making decisions about your future, Gathering Evidence & Taking Action

As you start to think about your next steps after school or college, it’s important to know all the facts about your possible choices for study or work to help you make the right decisions about your future.

Once you have an idea of where you’re headed (even if it’s just one step at a time), you can find out the entry requirements – the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills, experience, qualifications and knowledge – you’ll need to make that leap. You will then need to start building an evidence portfolio for personal statements, applications forms, CVs and interviews to showcase what you’ve got to offer. Having done your research and prepared everything ready to go, it will then be far easier to create an action plan, make decisions about your future and progress towards your desired career goal.

Watch our Daily Reel to learn the practical steps to take when you next to make an informed decision – from researching your options to evaluating alternatives. It explores the need to gather evidence of your skills and achievements throughout your academic studies to showcase on application forms, personal statements, CVs and interviews. It also introduces the STAR Technique to help students learn how to talk about their strengths in a structured way.

In this 15 min summary, you’ll learn:

  • 7 stages to make informed decisions about your future
  • The choices available at 16 and 18 and how to research them
  • The importance of self-reflection and how to ask for feedback
  • How to describe your skills by giving real-world examples of when you’ve used them

Making effective and informed decisions

  • Self-Assessment: Start by considering what you are good at and exploring your interests, strengths and values. This could include taking personality tests and career assessments online to identify potential career paths that align with your personality traits. Or you could ask your teachers, friends or family what they think your strengths are to point you in the right direction.
  • Research & Information Gathering: It’s crucial to gather information about potential study or work options. There’s lots available from traditional A-Levels at sixth form, to T-Levels, BTECs and NVQs at colleges, to apprenticeships, traineeships and study programmes. Plus, there’s free pre-employment and adult courses available until you’re 25-30 in most cases so make sure you understand the full offer.
  • Seek Advice: Don’t feel like you’re on your own when it comes to making decisions. Request a meeting with your school or college careers advisor. Speak to parents, carers, friends, family, classmates and peers about your ideas. There’s support services available online if you’re struggling and want to chat anonymously, as well as careers mentor services if you feel like you need an expert.

Be open-minded and remember the more information you have, the more you’ll feel like your decision was well informed and the right choice. It’ll also help you to quickly switch paths if you feel you’ve made the wrong choice in the future.

Here from local employers talking about the importance of staying positive and resilient and how they use these self-management skills in their every day job roles:

Gathering Evidence for your Next Steps

We’ve produced a range of tools to help you understand the importance of gathering evidence of your skills and achievements to help you on the path to success with your future study or work plans.

Evidencing your Skills and Achievements

Whatever you decide comes next after school or college, you’ll need to stand-out in a competitive landscape. The key to this is gathering a strong portfolio of evidence and being armed with great examples that are relevant to your course or employment ambitions. Find out how to identify gaps in your skills and achievements, what evidence might be required and how to take action now that will undoubtedly pay off later.

Read more

Identifying your skills and showcasing them with ‘STAR’ Technique

Find it hard to ‘sell’ yourself? Not really sure what you’re good at or how to describe it? Recognising your strengths and being able to talk confidently about them doesn’t come easily for most people. It’s a tactic you’ll need to learn to articulate your skills and experience.  The ‘STAR’ Technique can help you explain more about what you did, your actions and the end result.

Read more

Tools for Schools

As part of Post-16 Careers Week, we’ve also produced a range of tools for teachers to use in secondary schools and colleges, but also for students, parents and carers to access at home – sparking ideas and starting conversations about future careers.

Similar Posts