Planning Your Future: Tips and Advice to Prepare for Whatever Comes Next
Exploring and gaining experience is a critical part of discovering your future path.
As a child, you probably spent some time thinking about what you wanted to be when you grew up. You may have wanted to be a doctor, a police officer, or maybe a teacher. As you've grown older, you've likely realized it isn't as easy to know your path as it was when you were a kid.
You may stress about which career path you want to take and wonder where you should start. It's normal to feel overwhelmed on this topic, but the best advice is to do your research and make tangible goals to achieve your plans.
Navigating your choice of career may be hard, but it's doable.
When thinking about your future, don't think "how do I choose a job?" but instead, "what am I passionate about that I want to explore further?"
People decide on a job for many different reasons: money, location, lifestyle, etc., but the best job you'll have is one that makes you happy, motivated, and ready to learn. Your future career path doesn't have to be linear or take the traditional way but should fit into what you want and your goals. Make sure your well-being is a factor too.
And remember, your future job may not even exist right now! If you think about it, did the idea of being an influencer as a career exist 20 years ago? Or what about making money on YouTube? With technology advancing each day, there could be so many new job openings in the tech field too. There are so many growing fields, so there's no need to limit your mindset on what you may be doing in the future.
Understanding your interests and what you like doing is the first tip to narrowing a job path down. With 100+ undergraduate programs at Waterloo, there are many ways to learn here. Do you want to complete equations and find solutions to real-world issues, learn about the world around us in labs, or even discuss philosophical topics with classmates
Knowing what you like (and don't like) will help you choose your degree and ultimately put you on the career path you need to be on to meet your personal goals.
Waterloo is #1 in Canada for graduate employment rate (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022) so explore your interests with full confidence. Our programs will set you up for future careers in every field, and through classes, co-op, and hands-on learning, you'll gain the necessary skills needed for success.
At Waterloo, we provide co-op. Co-op — officially known as co-operative education — gets you outside the classroom and into the workplace for hands-on learning experiences that build skills relating to your program of study and creates connections with people in your field. Co-op is typically available at the high school, college, and university levels across Canada. High school co-op programs typically arrange unpaid placements for students to "test-drive" a potential career and earn credits while college and university co-op programs such as Waterloo's are paid.
Students choose co-op options to not just gain valuable work experience but to get a chance to work in different fields and discover their likes and dislikes. Having experience in different fields provides some clarity for when it's time to decide on your career.
Don't worry, you don't have to have everything figured out right away. Once you learn about your passions, interests, and goals — your future might become clearer for you.
Learn how co-op can help you discover your future career