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Exploring and Deciding on Career Options and LMI


Deciding what career path you want to go down can be both exciting and intimidating. But where to start? It helps to have an idea of what job you might be enjoy and be good at. Don’t worry if you have no idea on what you want to do just yet, you can book an appointment with the guidance team who can discuss and explore your options with you. To get you started, below are some handy tips to help you think about what you could do in the future.

Identify skills and interests

The first step in choosing a career is identifying and understanding the skills you have so that you can see if they are a good fit for the job you would like to do. You already have many skills that come from school, college and part time jobs. Make a list of these skills and examples of where you have demonstrated them. For example if you have managed a few deadlines on your course at college and handing in assignments on time then you have good time management skills. These skills are called transferable skills as they can work in every type of job.

Now that you have identified your skills you need to consider what you would like from a job and what you would enjoy. When you are doing something you like you will feel more motivated. Start by thinking about what you enjoy doing. That does not mean just because you like to draw you have to be an artist. There are many jobs that involve drawing as part of the role, such as product designer, graphic designer, or illustrator. Thinking about your interests more broadly will open up so many more career options.

If you are finding it hard to identify your skills and interests you could take a careers quiz. This will help match you skills and interests to careers you may be suited to.

Research jobs and areas of work

Once you have identified your skills and interests you can start to research the job market and career paths that may be of interest to you. Researching will help you narrow down your options and you may even find jobs you never would have considered.

When looking at different sectors it’s important to research, the local, national and global job market. This is called Labour Market information (LMI) and it will help you discover more career pathways and in which sector there are more or less jobs.

Looking at job profiles will help you identify which jobs your skills and qualifications will be suited to. The following websites will help you explore different jobs:

They sort jobs into the different sectors and for each you will find out more about; the role and the day to day duties, the useful skills you will need, the average pay, and what qualifications you will need. It’s a great way to start thinking about the different jobs there are and what you will need to get you your dream job.

Whilst this will give you the information you need about a job sector it should be used as a starting point to build a bigger picture of what careers you could go into. You can do this by making a shortlist of around 5 – 10 jobs and then considering the following:

  • Will it help you with your career development
  • What is the future of the job
  • What are the entry requirements
  • What will you be doing on a daily basis
  • The salary

After doing this you will be able to narrow down your options even further.

Getting some work experience or volunteering

Researching and exploring jobs and sectors may help you find out more about a particular role but it can’t tell you if you will like the job. This is where work experience and volunteering will help you gain more of an insight into the areas you are interested in before making a final decision on a certain career path. It will also look great on a CV and give you a better idea if you would actually enjoy your chosen career.

All about careers – gives you more information about how to gain work experience

Do it and Vinspired – you can use both to search for volunteering opportunities local to you


Remember it’s ok if you’re not sure on what you want to do, as your time at college will help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to help you decide on what direction to go with your career.


What is LMI? – Labour market information (LMI) is essentially facts and figures about jobs and careers. It is designed to give you an overall representation of the past, present and future of work. The term labour market is used to define the amount of people working and the amount of jobs in a specific sector. When this information is analysed for trends and patterns it then becomes labour market intelligence.

What impact does LMI have on career choice?

LMI can help you make informed career decisions by providing figures on where work opportunities are increasing or decreasing, what jobs exist and what you need to do to get into that job. This will ultimately help you come up with a plan on how you can achieve your goals.

LMI can also help you understand:

  • What a job will involve on a daily basis
  • Which jobs are increasing or declining
  • What qualifications or skills you may need for a job
  • How much you may earn
  • What you need to prepare yourselves to compete for jobs in certain sectors
  • What jobs there are in your area
  • Websites such as National Careers Service Job Profiles, Prospects and ICould can be a useful start when searching for LMI for different sectors.

How to use labour market information

You can use LMI to help you identify skills that are in demand and see what trends there are in a sector as well as recognise sectors where there is growth and job opportunities.

Things to consider when you are looking at LMI

LMI is very useful when considering future career options as it provides you with trends and patterns. LMI can tell you what jobs exist and how many as well as in which sectors and occupations. You can then use this information to consider whether an occupation is right for you.

You can use LMI to help you consider options you may not have thought about before but as with most statistics it doesn’t provide you with a complete picture and can’t tell you what to do.

Other things to consider when looking at LMI:

  • The labour market never stays the same, it’s ever changing. Jobs that exists now didn’t exist a few years ago, so there will be jobs in the future that will not be reflected in current LMI statistics.
  • Labour market predictions are figures and not facts, many things can have an impact on the job market.
  • Think about more than one career area, your time at college will give you many skills which can be transferred to different jobs.