Spent so much time focusing on schoolwork that you haven’t even had the chance to decide what you want to do after the HSC as a career path?
Vaituluto graduated in 2020, and she had the exact same problem.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do at the start of Year 12. I went from teacher to author, to screenwriter, until I finally settled on becoming a financial advisor.”
With help from the Pathfinder Program, Vai came to a final conclusion regarding university and her career. But how exactly did she get there? Find out in this article!
- Vaituloto attended St Agnus Catholic Highschool
- In her spare time, she enjoys chess and writing.
Tip #1: Passion
According to Vai, the first thing you need to assess is what you’re passionate about. Since school doesn’t give you a lot of time to think about other concerns, this is easier said than done.
For Vaitulto, however, it came down to looking at her own personal community and talking to those she cares for.
“Although being a teacher or author is also important work, the experiences I had talking to those around me helped me realise that being a financial advisor is the way to go.”
“I come from a family of 9 which makes it hard to save money. This means my parents have to raise a lot before they can retire. I also had a financial conversation with a teacher once where I realised that she wasn’t looking after her superannuation properly. I was able to give her some advice on how she could save effectively and retire and this felt awesome.
These personal experiences are what helped Vai make a decision.
“I want to help people who just brush off the importance of saving and superannuation. This is something that would greatly help people I know in my community.”
The Key Take-Out:
When you’re trying to find something that you’re passionate about, you don’t have to look at the wider world and its problems.
The key is starting small. What concerns you in your immediate environment? Is there anything that excites you in your own community or your relationships that could be turned into a career path?
Talk to your friends and family and look for anything that motivates you. You can’t force yourself to be passionate, so dig deep for something that intertwines with your daily life.
Tip #2: Realism
While you need to focus on what you’re passionate about, it’s a sad fact that not all university degrees have the same employment potential.
Of course, if you’re totally passionate about one certain thing you should go for it, but for a lot of people, it’s best to choose something that has a balance of passion and practicality.
The key to this is research.
You also need to keep your options open.
“I realised that doing something like an education degree is very linear. Same with being an author or screen writer. The thing about studying finance is that it gives a lot of different avenues from just one course alone.”
If you’re not totally sure about what you want to do, it can be better to pick a degree with more freedom and wiggle room. This way, you won’t have to switch halfway through your course because you realise it’s not right for you.
Tip #3: Talk to Experts
“Before you decide on a career path, you need to know what you’re getting into and what struggles you will face.”
Hearing from people who work in the field is the best way to do this! As a student in the Pathfinder Program, Vai got access to regular Career Panels.
These are forums where selected experts talk to students about the ins and outs of their respective field and answer any questions that may be relevant.
Vaituluto learned a lot from a panel on Business, Accounting, Finance and Entrepreneurship.
“It was cool being able to see what the industry’s really like. The key advice they gave us is to contact people who work at places that you’re interested in. I didn’t realise the importance of sending emails and asking for advice or guidance.”
“The panelists also taught me that working within finance you need to be capable of being independent. You have to be able to support yourself, this means constantly honing your skillset and working on your own initative to improve.”
Additionally, her mother was an accountant for four years before moving onto further work. Vai was also able to get some advice here.
“She warned me that finance can be really boring work. You need to look at numbers all the time and practice maths skills every day so that your mind doesn’t waver. She asked me if this is the lifestyle I want, and I decided it was worth it!”
While passion and realism are the two most important aspects when it comes to choosing a life path, you can’t work out either if you don’t talk to experts who have been there and done it.
Whether it be family, friends, people in the industry or students studying your desired course at uni, never be scared to reach out! You’ll find that most people are willing to lend a helping hand.
Struggling with deciding on a degree or career path?
In the Pathfinder program, we’ll help you decide on a degree, apply for uni and get insider industry knowledge in The Pathfinder Program!
Learn more or get started with an inspirational Pathfinder Mentor and get in touch today!
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