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Thinking about your skills, knowledge and experiences is a great way to figure out what jobs you could do and what you’d enjoy:

  • brainstorm your skills, knowledge, and experience with whānau and friends. Think about what you’re good at doing and the skills involved – it might be art, playing sport, carving, preparing a hangi, or baking.
  • read some job ads or job descriptions and circle the skills, knowledge, and experience listed. Then try and match each skill with things you have done, e.g. I gained communication skills by working at the supermarket.

The Careers NZ website also has a great guide for figuring out your skills, and a tool for matching your skills to different jobs.

It’s also important to think about your passions and interests! Have a look at jobs that match your passions and interests and think about what skills, knowledge and experiences you bring to these jobs.

Employability skills

Employability skills are skills that are valued by employers when they hire for a job. These skills are commonly seen in job ads and they are:

  • A positive attitude | Te waia
  • Communication | Te whitiwhiti kōrero
  • Self-management | Te whakahaere-whaiaro
  • Thinking skills | Ngā pūkenga whakaaro
  • Teamwork | Te mahi ngātahi
  • Willingness to learn | Te hiahia ki te ako
  • Resilience | Te manawaroa

These skills can be learnt while you study, in your community or for yourself. For example,

  • joining a sports team or kapa haka group could help improve your teamwork.
  • creating and following a study plan can help improve your self-management.
  • socialising and meeting new people can help improve your communication and resilience.
  • doing work experience or community work can help add to your CV and are an awesome place place to start if you haven’t had a lot of jobs in the past.

There are programmes especially designed for young people to develop skills too, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

The Careers NZ YouTube channel has heaps of videos showing different jobs and the skills you need for them.

Other valuable skills and knowledge

There are also some general skills and knowledge that many employers look for. These can help improve your chances of getting a job in different industries.

What job?

Now that you’ve thought about your skills, knowledge and experiences, you should consider what jobs suit you.

Some things to consider:

  • Where and how do you want to work?
  • What are your passions and interests?
  • How do you work with others?
  • What hours do you want to work?
  • How will your work support or impact on your whānau?
  • What challenges do you want in your work?

When you are deciding on which tertiary pathways you might like explore, Careers New Zealand is a good place to start. The video below shows some of the many vocational options that are available.

Video transcript available for Vocational Education and Training: the choice is yours Open Close
Vocational Education and Training: the choice is yours

Host: When you’re choosing what to do, the choice feels huge. You need to be ready for anything. You need a vocation.

Horticulture worker: I chose to get in amongst it.

Electricity worker: I chose to make sure we’ve got power. . .

Electricity worker 2: . . . everywhere we need it!

Public water apprentice: I chose to earn, as I learned.

Nikita’s dad: When Nikita said she wanted to be a plumber, I chose to say. . . awesome.

Nikita: Out of the way Dad.

Construction manager: I chose to put a roof over people’s heads. . . to help put a roof over mine.

Bluebridge ferry engineer: I chose to be a part of the engine room of New Zealand. . . in an actual engine room.

Robotics worker: To find better ways to make stuff.

Farmer with robotic farm dog: To make the future happen. . . right now.

Car mechanic: I chose to give him an apprenticeship, and her, and him, and him.

Host: So choose skills for a world that never stops changing. Choose a job you’ll love doing every day. With vocational education and training, the choice is yours.