It’s easy in those three years of high school to think you’re actually on top of the world. You’ve got everything under control, perhaps you do well in academics, sport, or both. But, at some point in these three years you’ll have to realize life isn’t always going to be that easy because, sooner or later, you need a career to make some money.

Now, I distinctly believe there is only two types of people when it comes to deciding on what career you want – the ones who know exactly what to do, and the ones who have absolutely no clue.

And, if you’re in the latter, then this article has been written to help you make some decisions – even if you are only in Year 11 (because you can never be too organized!)

The first piece of advice is actually the most crucial, in my opinion; it’s considering all of your options. Before you start thinking about strengths, weaknesses, hobbies or passions – it’s important to realize the magnitude of options available to you for tertiary education.

At my school, a private one, we aren’t necessarily fed this approach, as teachers are far more concerned about students going to University. And although it’s a good option, viewing that as your only option is just like looking through a key-hole – you can’t get the full picture.

Ara in Christchurch is a great example of a tertiary option for anyone who is indecisive over University. Generally, it offers a large range of incredibly practical courses which aim to give you a hands on approach to a variety of different careers. Unitec in Auckland and The Wellington Institute of Technology are also places which strive to give similar options.

Secondly, when it comes to actually choosing what you want to do, all I can say is this: follow your passions. If you love something, then there’s no reason why you can’t make a career out of it. Working to me should never be about doing something for money; it should be about waking up every day to do something you love.

And again, that links back to what I said about where you do tertiary study. Don’t choose a career based off what’s at University. If Ara or Unitec is the best place for you to follow your passion, then, by-all-means, go there!

At the end of the day, it’s always the right time to start thinking about these issues. Your choices after school will come to define you as a person, so make them wisely!



Steven Walton PhotoAuthor: Steven Walton

Steven Walton is a 16 year old student currently attending St Andrews College in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was brought up with two older brothers and his big passions are sports (especially motorsport), people and writing. He runs his own motorsport blog, Green Flag F1 ( and is aspiring to be a journalist when he is older.


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