Planning for the future

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“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” – Psalm 23:8

For Year 13 school leavers, reaching the halfway mark in the school year can be a very surreal time knowing that the page is almost about to turn and reveal a new chapter in your ever-evolving story. It is an exciting but possibly daunting time as well, particularly if you are still making decisions about what 2019 might look like.

We find and receive strength through our relationship with our Lord, and as a living image of Him, can be confident that we will never lose our way even if the path to our chosen career or life plan isn’t linear. It’s also good to remember that nothing of significance ever comes easy.

If you are contemplating what lies ahead and would like a helping hand in the direction that is best for you, here are a number of avenues that can help you on your way.

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Be guided by mission: ‘At its heart, mission is more than ‘what’ we do. Its life and meaning come from ‘why’ and ‘how’ we do it’ (Atawhai Mai Atawhai Atu, 2014). This is so true of the career or path we choose. The satisfaction we can derive from following our dreams is more than just the realisation of the goal – it is also manifest in good judgement, well-meaning intentions and living out our dream with honesty, integrity and selflessness. In other words, choosing a career path simply because we think it will earn us the most money won’t bring us true contentment, but picking a career that contributes to transformative action in the emerging needs of today’s society can.

Career counselling: If your school doesn’t have access to career counselling, there are a number of free websites that can help you to work through what you will be best suited to. Remember, not everyone follows the traditional ‘school – university – workforce’ route and that’s ok. You may decide to volunteer for a year or take a gap year overseas.

Work experience: Sometimes we have an idea of what we think we want to do, but when faced with the reality of our choice, we realise it’s not for us. This is where work experience can be really useful. Many organisations have open arms and welcome students into their professional family as interns or sometimes even paid apprentices. If you have a particular passion, and would like to experience a trial period, then start reaching out to the businesses you might like to work with.

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