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Choosing a career can be stressful, especially at a young age. So how do you know if you’ve made the right decision? Or taken a wrong path?

First of all, there’s no right or wrong way to reach your dream career. There’s always more than one pathway to reach your goals. Second of all, even if you’re not on the right path now, it’s never too late to make a change, even if that means switching course.

If you can relate to a lot of the below points, it might be time to take action.

1. You’re unhappy

Let’s start with the obvious. It’s normal if the thoughts of studying feels painful, but it shouldn’t be torture. Being enrolled in a course you enjoy means you like learning about most topics. It means you’re excited about your career ahead. If you can’t see light at the end of the tunnel, it’s a sign you need to switch it up.

2. You dread going to class

There’s one hundred other things you’d rather do and you try to think of a valid reason not to go. Listening to the lecturer during class is a major struggle – your attention span is short, or non-existent. Instead, you’ve watched all of your snapchat stories and got lost in your second cousin’s girlfriend’s Instagram account (it happens).

3. You’re scraping through

It’s common to struggle with some areas of your course, but if you’re barely passing (or failing) several subjects, it’s not a good sign. Of course you can seek help from lecturers and friends, but realistically, if you’re not a fan of the course to begin with, the passion to succeed won’t be there.

4. Assignments are your worst nightmare

Obviously not all assignments are fun, however, if you’re interested in your course most elements of it should be enjoyable for you. If the thoughts of even planning your assignment sends waves of panic and anxiety through your body then nope, the course might not be for you.

5. You panicked

Choosing a career as a teenager is difficult and heaps of pressure. It’s hard to figure out weekend plans, let alone ‘what you want to be when you grow up’. So maybe you panicked and just picked a random course because you were time poor or it was the easiest option. Whatever the reason for the rash decision, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it.

6. Pressure from parents

If you have parents who chip in with your student expenses – lucky you. However, if they’re encouraging you to pursue a course that doesn’t feel right for you, speak up. It’s not easy going against your folks’ wishes, but sit down and tell them how you’re feeling. At the end of the day, your happiness will be important to your loved ones.

7. FOMO

That’s ‘fear of missing out’ in case you’ve been living under a rock. The idea of your friends doing their dream courses and moving towards their career goals makes you anxious about your own decision. While you obviously want the best for them, you’re jealous you’re not in their happy shoes. Well, it may be time to crush that case of FOMO and chase your own dream career.

8. You’re reading this

If your current course was right for you, I don’t think your eyeballs would have gotten this far. Decision made – switch course!

So, what now?

Figure out which course suits you. There’s so many options. In fact, TAFE NSW has over 1200 courses, from certificates to degrees. Maybe you’ll change industries completely. If that’s too overwhelming, you can also have a chat to one of our helpful career advisors who can guide you through your next steps. You got this!

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