No one wants to mess up. We want to get things right the first-time round without the hassle that comes with making mistakes. Here’s the thing though, we’re in that weird stage where we’re not really kids anymore, but we still don’t feel like adults.

Which makes it the perfect time to make mistakes.

So, go try new things, anything, and figure out what you like. Pick up a camera, try a painting class, join a team. Then ditch all of them when you realise they’re not for you. Give writing a go and learn how to pull a beer. Talk to people; anyone who will give you their time: big brothers, your mum who didn’t go to uni and your dad whose first job doesn’t exist anymore.

Chat to your careers advisor and your teachers. Go to careers expos and try a-trade-days. Drag your friends around to any stall that looks interesting then spend some time on your own to look by yourself.

Speak to experts and industry leaders. Ask them what it’s really like if you don’t go to uni, ask them about job prospects and money. Ask the things that you know your parents will ask you if you tell them you’re interested in an apprenticeship or going down a pathway that doesn’t involve uni.

But ask about the deeper stuff too. Ask them if beauty therapy or carpentry was what they imagined themselves doing when they were young and ask them if their five-year-old self would be proud. Listen to them when they tell you yes then ask them why.

mistakesStumble over your words and ask the wrong questions. Recognise that you don’t really know what the difference between uni and VET is, then realise that there’s plenty of people who will help you figure it out.

Make mistakes. Pick the wrong course and study the wrong thing. Fail and don’t tell your parents. Fail again and call your mum crying. Then learn from it. Figure out where you went wrong and try something new.

We’re so incredibly lucky to have our youth on our side.

We’re not weighed down by electricity bills or child support payments and we have all the time in the world to make up for the mistakes we inevitably make.

It might feel like all the pressure is on us to have it all figured out, but the truth is, no one is expecting us to get it right first time round.

Skills Show Australia 2018 is the perfect time to make all the mistakes you need to. Take your friends or your mum and dad and figure out what you’re keen on. Try out things like bricklaying, beauty therapy or hospitality and see if you’re into it. If not, try something else like electrical installation or painting and decorating.

Speak to people who will be able to give you honest career advice. Take notes, listen to seminars and jump in on workshops. Spend the first day getting lost down career paths you’ve never even considered before then spend the next day figuring it all out. Ask questions that seem dumb and trust me when I say that they’re not dumb questions at all.

If you’re in Sydney and keen to head to Skills Show Australia 2018 (entry is free, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t at least give it a go), you can head here for more info and register. 

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