You’re doing all sorts of great stuff right now. Everyone has talents, abilities and skills. Knowing what you’re good at and recognising your talents can help you choose a course, occupation or a job.

If you’re struggling to come up with options, then think about the activities you enjoy. Or the skills you use and your abilities in different areas of your life.

Often, you’ll discover patterns that appear in the things you like doing. These are important clues to enable you to identify the study and career options that’ll be perfect for you.

See how this approach helped Lilly, Robbie and Jacob.

Recognising your talents - Lily - Post Image

Meet Lily

Lily is in Year 12 and is trying to decide what to do after Year 12. Lily decided to jot down the things that she enjoys in different areas of her life:

Aspect’s of Lily’s LifeWhat Lily Enjoys
Learning: Favourite school subjects, skills, favourite extracurricular activitiesFavourite Subjects: Textiles, Maths, Art
Extracurricular Activities: helps make costumes for a school musical
Family and Friends: Favourite activities with family and friendsEnjoys cooking for her family Loves op-shopping for clothes with friends
Leisure Activities: Favourite spare-time activities, such as sport, dance, Scouts, gardening, cycling, gaming, arts and crafts, etc.Sewing clothes
Cooking
Drawing
Working: Volunteering, part-time job, community serviceLoves her part-time job doing sewing in a clothing alteration shop


Once written down, Lily could see that textiles and sewing are favourite activities. She has always loved fashion and clothes. Plus she enjoys doing her part-time job at the clothing alterations shop. This activity helped her realise that there were patterns across aspects of her life. So she decided to explore fashion design. Lily has enrolled in a Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology at TAFE.

Meet Robbie

Robbie can’t decide what to do after Year 12. He’s tossing up between continuing with Hospitality at TAFE. Studying Music at uni, doing Art at TAFE or PE Teaching at uni. So he did the same exercise.

Aspect’s of Robbie’s LifeWhat Robbie Enjoys
Learning: Favourite school subjects, skills, favourite activitiesFavourite Subjects: Art, PE, Music, VET Hospitality
Extracurricular Activities: In the school orchestra, plays soccer and in the school athletics team
Family and Friends: Favourite activities with family and friendsLoves going to family shack
Loves hanging out with friends from school, athletics and orchestra
Leisure Activities: Favourite spare-time activities, such as sport, dance, Scouts, gardening, cycling, gaming, arts and crafts, etc.Club soccer
Athletics
Club Music lessons – AMEB Grade 7 violin
Play violin in orchestras
Write songs
Play guitar
Photography
Watches movies
Surfing
Working: Volunteering, part-time job, community servicePlays violin in concerts
Works as a kitchenhand in holidays


Robbie’s got a pretty busy life. But after writing it all down, it helped him to decide to keep athletics and soccer as activities in his spare time. Given his love of music, he decided to continue with music at uni. Then he’d get a part-time job in hospitality to pay for his uni study. So in the end he was able to find a way to keep all the things he enjoys doing in his life.

Recognising your talents - Robbie - Post Image
Recognising your talents - Jacob - Post Image

Meet Jacob

Jacob is in Year 10 and is dead keen on getting into the workforce once he finishes Year 12. Here’s what he wrote down about his interests:

Aspect’s of Jacob’s LifeWhat Jacob Enjoys
Learning: Favourite school subjects, skills, favourite extracurricular activitiesFavourite Subjects: Materials, Design and Technology (MDT), Automotive, Health and Physical Education (HPE)
Family and Friends: Favourite activities with family and friendsEnjoys working on cars with Dad and Uncle
Speedway on weekends with all the family
Video gaming with friends
Leisure Activities: Favourite spare-time activities, such as sport, dance, Scouts, gardening, cycling, gaming, arts and crafts, etc.Playing sport
Racing go karts
Building and making things
Working: Volunteering, part-time job, community serviceVolunteering at the local mechanics with paid work during the holidays. Junior community firefighter. Automotive show volunteer/helper – directing cars for parking


It became clear to Jacob that he has a passion for working with his hands. He had done a work placement at his Uncle’s auto service centre that he loved. He decided he wanted to do a school-based apprenticeship. So he asked his Uncle if he could do it through his auto service centre. It’s here he’ll undertake a Cert III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology with the aim to become a mechanic.

Activity

Give it a go

When you have a moment, find a pen and a pad, and try the exercise yourself to look for patterns in your own life. It could be one of the best 10 minutes you’ll ever spend.

Aspect’s of LifeWhat You Enjoy
Learning: Favourite school subjects, skills, favourite extracurricular activitiesFavourite Subjects:

Extracurricular Activities:
Family and Friends: Favourite activities with family and friends
Leisure Activities: Favourite spare-time activities, such as sport, dance, Scouts, gardening, cycling, gaming, arts and crafts, etc.
Working: Volunteering, part-time job, community service
Key Takeaway

Key takeaway

Remember to think about all aspects of your life when you are starting to design your career.

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