Dear 2022 School Leavers: What I wish I had known when I was in your shoes

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

If you’re finishing school in 2022, you are likely facing some pretty big decisions. And, although it was a long time ago now, I remember the feeling only too well! It’s incredibly exciting and daunting at the same time.

It may feel like there is only one path for you and you have one chance to make it happen, or like there are so many paths that you don’t know which one is right for you. Whichever camp you find yourself in, it’s a pretty usual way to feel at this point.

For what it’s worth, here’s what I wish I had known when I was finishing school.

There is more than one pathway to your goals

Right now, it may feel like your ATAR is everything, but knowing that many pathways can get you to where you want to be is important. If you don’t get the ATAR you need for the course you want to do, there are options through bridging study or vocational education and training (VET).

(And, you may even find a VET course is a better fit. You’ll start earning while you learn; even better, you’ll likely earn more than your university counterparts on graduation!)

Getting out into the workforce can be a great option too

If you aren’t sure what you want to do or don’t get the result you were hoping for, getting out into the workforce while you plan your next move is a great option too. The experience can help you make a more informed decision on what you want to do, start building your professional network and gain some life skills that will set you up for success.

Always be open to opportunities

Whether you are sure about what you want to do or you’re still working it out, your career is likely to be a journey – and it won’t always go in a straight line. There will be many forks in the road, and the experiences you have along the way will change your course multiple times, so be open to opportunities and don’t get too hung up on your decisions today.   

(When I was an office equipment technician, I never would have believed that I would end up as the CEO of an employment and training services organisation – but here I am!)

And last but not least, enjoy the moment!

While you are madly studying and worrying about what’s next, it’s easy to let the experience pass you by. Finishing school is a moment you will always look back on – so make sure you take time to enjoy it!