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5 days, 5 ways to boost your career

This week is National Careers Week and we've got a challenge for you. We want you to spend 10 minutes each day this week using the Success at School site and the web to complete each of the following careers research tasks:

1. Choosing a career path

Have you ever thought about what your ideal career path would be? If this is the sort of question that seems so big and overwhelming that it leaves you weak at the knees, we have a useful formula to help you make a start. Think about what you like (interests) and what you're good at (skills), put the two together and start researching careers that match this overlap.

Task: Create two lists: one of your interests and the other of your skills, and research three jobs which match both.

Success at School help:

2. How to become...

Success at School website's How to become... pages explain what you can expect from certain career paths and the skills, qualifications and experience you need to get there. Yesterday you used your skills and interests to identify some possible careers paths, and today you'll figure out how to get there.

Task: Use the How to become... pages to research three career paths which match your skills and interests. For each job, write down one way you could gain each of the following: (i) skills, (ii) qualifications, (iii) experience.

Success at School help:

3. Apprenticeships vs university

These days, it's often possible to qualify for a high-skilled job through an advanced, higher or degree apprenticeship. This means you can start training and gaining qualifications on-the-job straight from school without going to university. Your employer will pay for any qualifications you need.

Task: Research the pros and cons of university and also advanced, higher and degree apprenticeships. For the three jobs you have chosen, use the internet to research (i) apprenticeship opportunities and (ii) relevant university courses.

Success at School help:

4. Work experience

Employers says work experience is a huge advantage to candidates applying for jobs as they are on the look-out for those with the skills and experience - not just the qualifications and enthusiasm - to do the job.

Task: For each of the three jobs you have highlighted, use our site and the internet to research different ways you can gain work experience: (i) through school/college, (ii) outside school, such as during the summer holiday.

Success at School help:

5. Employability skills

Employers look for certain skills in every candidate, regardless of the role, so it's vital you use your time in education to develop these skills. You can develop employability skills in class, through extracurricular activities and through part-time work. We have lots of resources to help you find out what these skills are and how you can gain them.

Task: Pick three employability skills from this list. Do some research on our site and the internet and write down three ways you can gain them (i) in school/college and (ii) outside school/college.

Success at School help:

Advice for your parents / guardians

We have just set up a mailing list for parents and guardians. If you think they'd like advice on how to help you plan your future career, send them this link and tell them to sign up to Success at School:

If you think this email might be helpful to someone else, please forward it on. If you have any questions or need any help, please email us at

Success at School Team

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