Module Defining My Opportunities


The Past, the Present and the Future

In this module you will learn about the concept of a career in today's world, and how to explore the range of jobs people are doing in your area of interest.

By the end of this module, you should be familiar with the following:

  • The definition of a 'career' in the 21st century 
  • Myths and realities surrounding the world of work 
  • Types of work that people in your industry are doing 
  • Variety of occupations within your industry

Topic 1 What is a Career

The term 'career' was traditionally associated with paid employment and referred to a single job for life. In today's world of work the term 'career' is seen as a continuous process of learning and development and can change directions at any time. Contributions to a career can include:

  • Work experience
  • Community involvement
  • Employment
  • Life roles
  • Enterprise activities
  • Cultural activities
  • Training
  • Education
  • Interests
  • Sport
  • Volunteer Work

Topic 2 What is the World of Work like

Have I got the right information?

It’s important to make sure that your career decisions are informed (as much as possible) by a realistic assessment of the information available rather than relying on assumptions that you or others may have.

Some of these assumptions may have gained credibility over time, especially if they have been reinforced by the media and people whose opinion you value.

The exercise below will give you the opportunity to test your own career assumptions.

This mini quiz gives you the opportunity to become aware of any career myths you may have accepted as realities (until now) and to possibly challenge these assumptions. Being aware of career myths that have influenced your career planning so far may open up new possibilities for exploration that you may not have considered.

Choose whether you think the following statements are a Myth or a Reality:

The earlier a person selects a steady career, the better.


There are many ways of finding out if a person might enjoy working in a particular occupation besides taking a job in that field.


Somewhere there is a test that can tell me what to do for the rest of my career.


During his/her lifetime, a person is likely to work in several different occupations.


The current job market determines what career a person should choose.


The majority of job seekers find jobs through word of mouth.


Changing careers indicates there is something "wrong" about a person.


There is no job security any more.


Unmistakeable Trends

Change is everywhere. No longer are there short periods of change followed by long periods of stability. We have to learn to live and prosper in a world of constantly changing demands and possibilities.

All this change and possibility happen in an environment where the past does not necessarily prepare us for the future. Some of these changes include technological change, globally competitive markets, new patterns of work and higher educational requirements. Whatever the reasons, there has been a series of unmistakeable trends particularly in the world of work you are already in or about to enter.

To maximise your choices and build a career in this rapidly changing environment you will have to take responsibility for your own direction and growth, understand what your goals are and be flexible and open to developing new skills.

The Current World of Work

Here are some examples of the changes you can expect in the current world of work:

  • Undertaking 6 to 10 different jobs throughout your lifetime
  • Increased responsibility for planning and managing your career
  • Less stability and security within organisations
  • Involvement in education and training throughout your life
  • Developing portable skills to ensure employability
  • Keeping up to date with labour market trends and anticipating future trends
  • Spending time unemployed
  • Holding temporary and short-term positions
  • Working towards a job that does not exist at present
  • Constantly aiming to acquire new skills to increase your employability.

Topic 3 Researching My Career Options

Why consider my options?

The world of work is constantly changing and it can be challenging to access up to date information about specific occupations that you are interested in, and about careers in general.

The internet can be a useful source of career information, and the website used in the following activities is a good place to start.

When we think about career development, we need to consider our lifelong career interests. The following activities assist you to explore the opportunities that may be of interest throughout your career. In order to maximise your graduate job prospects, it is important to have a range of career options available to you.

Activity One: Exploring my career interests

In order to fully explore all of the opportunities available to you it is worthwhile considering ALL of your interests. Although you may have decided on an occupation to follow, your career may lead you in multiple directions over time.

For example you may be interested in accounting as your main occupation, but you have a real love for sport. Have you explored this love for sport? Could you consider a future career within the sporting industry, or perhaps you may want to work as an accountant within a sporting organisation. Either way, it is worthwhile considering now, in the chance that an opportunity presents itself.

EXAMPLE: Jason Student

Main Career Interest: Accounting.

Other Interests:

  • Sport
  • Music
  • Movies

Combining my Interests:

I may consider becoming an accountant in a major sporting organisation. I may even consider running my own accountancy firm that specialises in music groups and bands.

Now it's your turn!

View activity

Activity Two: Researching my occupation of choice

Although you may have a set career in mind, there are often a variety of jobs available within each industry and profession to choose from.

For this section go to the MyFuture website   

  • Click on "The Facts"
  • Go down to "Work and Employment" section
  • Then, click on "Occupations"
  • Find an occupation or occupations that interest you and answer the following questions for each occupation.

View activity

Another great resource for exploring options is Degrees to Careers


Activity Three: Exploring my industry

Choose one of the related jobs you identified in Activity Two and read through the information available on the MyFuture website.

View activity

Activity Four: Exploring MyGuide and Degrees to Careers


To enable you to keep up to date with your employment opportunities, visit the My Guide section of the MyFuture website.

The My Guide section will allow you to investigate and explore your career interests which may provide you with an opportunity to ready yourself for future employment challenges; preparing you for the changing world of work and employment.

The My Guide section of My Future will ask you to create a login username. This login username can stay active forever so you really can explore and store your career journey!

Degrees to Careers

Explore links between study and career opportunities through Degrees to Careers.

Creative Commons Licence

Prepare for Uni is adapted from the Career Development Program of the Queensland University of Technology. Licensed under Creative Commons License.