Getting to know your chosen occupation


When thinking about occupations that might interest you, it's good to know what's really involved in working in this role. This includes understanding what skills, training and qualifications are required for the job.

This information can help you decide if this is the right type of role for you. It can also help you know if you need to do further study and, if so, to find and choose the best course for you.

There is a lot of information about occupations out there. It’s important to recognise that an occupation can be found in many different industries and sectors.

1. Understand what’s really involved in working in your chosen role or occupation. It helps to have a basic understanding of the day-to-day tasks required for the roles you are interested in. You could do this a number of ways, by:

  • Researching the role
  • Talking to people who work in this or a similar field
  • Speaking to a careers adviser or
  • Doing work experience. 

Take a note of the types of tasks that are involved in doing this job. Then consider how much time is spent on each task and the types of people you would interact with. Also think about how the work environment and conditions might suit you.

2. Find out if you would need any formal qualifications, licences or professional accreditations to work in this field.

Some professional occupations require specific certification in addition to any formal qualifications, for example chartered accountants or clinical psychologists. Lots of entry-level jobs also require industry certificates. This includes Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) for hospitality work or an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) White Card for construction. You should also find out if employers have preferred training units or education providers. This will ensure that any training you do will be relevant to the job.

3. Research the work experience, skills and personality traits employers are seeking in this occupation or industry.

Different employers often want different things when recruiting. Take retail for instance. The service you would provide to clients as a checkout operator will be different to the service you'd provide in a premium luggage store. Consider whether you are a flexible person who can adapt to different employer needs.

These tools can help you: