Career advice for teenagers in senior school.
It may seem like ages before you need to start worrying yourself about finding a full time job in Malta. A career may seem like something of the distant future and a matter that older people worry about. While it may be true that you wouldn't be starting a full time job for at least two years, the choices you make at the age of 16 will affect your future and the type of career path you’d like to follow as an adult.
Teenagers might look at jobs as merely a way to earn spending money. However, the benefits of having a job which you love, go way beyond simply receiving a paycheck at the end of the month. As Steve Jobs once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Although most careers require a formal qualification, success at the place of work is also highly dependent on the soft skills you possess and those you develop - for example organization skills, time management, patience, interacting with others. Keep in mind that the earlier you start thinking about your future career, the more time you’ll have to explore the many options available and pick the path which best suits your personality and abilities. Here are a couple of industries you might like to work in and the kind of traits you would need to succeed.
Choose your path:
Jobs in accounting and finance are related to keeping track of financial transactions of companies or individuals, and reporting any irregularities or risks. Individuals working in accounting and finance help manage credit and assets, calculate tax, manage investments, funds and risks, and deal with insurance. To work in the accountancy and finance sector you would need to have a passion for mathematics, pay close attention to detail, not mind working individually and be able to work under pressure.
Typical jobs: accountant. accounts clerk. payroll clerk. auditor. bank clerk. insurance agent. financial controller. financial advisor. financial analyst. stock trader. risk officer. fraud specialist. finance manager. credit controller.
People working in architecture are entrusted with designing new buildings or restoring existing ones. Individuals working in this area need to liaise with people working on the actual construction and follow the project through to completion. To start a career in architecture, you need to be creative, good at drawing and visualisation, computer literate and be able to communicate in an assertive way.
Typical jobs: technical architect. draughtsman. project manager. quantity surveyor. design architect. land surveyor. architecture visualisation artist. interior designer.
Engineering is very broad and has many different branches such as electrical and electronics, mechanical, civil and chemical engineering. Essentially all engineers are responsible for the same process - that of understanding how things function and how they can be made better. Engineers are innately curious, have a strong aptitude for problem solving, mathematics and physics. Other subjects like biology and chemistry, can also be integrated to create roles such as biomedical and environmental engineering.
Typical jobs: mechanical engineer. systems engineer. quality engineer. telecoms engineer. process engineer. electrical engineer. civil engineer. research and development engineer. design engineer.
Your job as a graphic designer is to make things look good - from designing a website to adding a touch of flair to a product brochure or a company logo. To become a graphic designer you’ll need to be highly creative, a think-outside-the-box kind of person, pay attention to detail, work well under pressure and be able to adapt your designs to incorporate clients’ demands. You need not necessarily be exceptional at drawing as there are many digital design tools available.
Typical jobs: graphic designer. digital graphic designer. website optimisation consultant. user experience designer (UX). user interface designer (UI). logo designer. brand developer.
The hospitality industry encapsulates all that has to do with tourism, including lodging, food and beverage, event planning, entertainment and travel. To work in this industry you will need to have excellent communication skills, not mind working long hours, multitask efficiently, and always be ready with a smile on your face. Languages might come in handy as you’ll be constantly interacting with foreigners.
Typical jobs: chef. commis. pastry chef. head waiter. hotel manager.concierge. reservations agent. housekeeping supervisor. travel agent. events planner. entertainer. tour operator. airline ticket agent. air steward. casino dealer.
If you work in HR, you will be responsible for managing and supporting employees in an organisation. Your role involves recognising the value people bring to a business, and learning how to get the most out of them. This could be anything from conflict between employees, staff motivation, recruiting new staff and training. You will need to be approachable, have excellent communication and organisational skills, be a problem solver and able to adapt your approach to individuals of different levels.
Typical jobs: hr manager. talent manager. hr business partner. recruiter. training and development executive. coach and mentor. motivational life coach. organisational psychologist. employee relations officer.
IT Systems Administration
A systems administrator is responsible for maintaining the smooth running of an organization’s computer system. Duties include managing a local-area network, configuring workstations and installing new software, performing procedures to add security and prevent the risk of viruses and providing any IT support required. To become a systems administrator you would naturally need to be technical and have a high level of computer literacy. Multitasking and good organisational skills are also important, as is keeping up with the latest technologies and effective communication skills, especially if you’ll be working in a large company.
Typical jobs: corporate administrator. cloud systems administrator. network administrator. database administrator. LAN administrator. IT operations engineer. CMS manager.
Put simply, journalists research and source intriguing pieces of information and broadcast them to the public. Journalist have a tendency of being very assertive, critical thinkers, keen on discussing their opinion and keeping abreast of local and foreign happenings. They have a flair for writing and an excellent command of the local language. You also need to excel at multi tasking and digging up information to write a compelling story out of it.
Typical jobs: copywriter. editorial data researcher. news anchor. radio presenter. public relations officer. investigative reporter. editor. sports journalist.
Becoming a lawyer requires that you provide advice on the law to clients and act on their behalf in court or in other situations which require legal representation. Lawyers also tend to specialise in a specific area, such as marital, immigration, insurance and litigation. Working in this sector means that you will need to pay very close attention to detail, be very self confident, able to express yourself clearly and have mastered the skills of persuasion and interrogation. A little bit of charm and building a professional network also go a long way.
Typical jobs: human rights lawyer. criminal lawyer. employment rights lawyer. family lawyer. legal secretary. magistrate. paralegal. corporate services lawyer. compliance lawyer. notary. maritime lawyer.
The manufacturing and logistics sector focuses on the entire process from the production of products, to testing and distribution of these products to the final seller. This process requires the input of a whole range of individuals with unique skills set. However, all those working in the manufacturing sector need to be cautious in safety management and able to react quickly and calmly to sudden situations. Time management and optimal organisational skills are also essential.
Typical jobs: production manager. manufacturing engineer. logistics and distribution assistant. technician. production operator. assembly line supervisor.wholesaler. courier. store keeper. purchasing officer.
Individuals who work in marketing are involved in promoting brands, messages and companies to an audience. Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends is imperative, especially in an age where digital is dominant. This, together with creativity, a can-do attitude, and excellent writing and communication skills will set you well on your way.
Typical jobs: client relationships manager. brand executive. public relations assistant. digital marketing executive. content writer. market research analyst. social media coordinator. website optimisation consultant.
The healthcare field is about the medical and aesthetic treatment and general physical and psychological care of individuals. An expertise in each specific field is vital, which means acing your biology or chemistry exams. You also need to be patient, empathic, precise and able to think-on-your feet in emergencies. Being able to communicate effectively with people of all backgrounds and simplify technical jargon into simple language, is a plus.
Typical jobs: general practitioner. dermatologist. gynecologist. pediatrician. radiologist. dentist. dental surgery assistant. mental health nurse. nursing officer. midwife. pharmacists. plastic surgeon. physiotherapist. paramedic.
Administrative jobs serve a core function in businesses. They involve roles related to coordination, scheduling, office management, correspondence and administrative support to people and organisations. Being computer literate and having excellent organisational and project management skills are a must, together with the ability to multitask. Your role may entail dealing with your boss’ clients and personal appointments so discretion and diplomacy can come in useful.
Typical jobs: office manager. administrative assistant. payroll clerk. executive personal assistant. front office receptionist. data inputter. customer service agent. goods receiving clerk. sales assistant.
Research & Development
Working in a research and development role means that you would be responsible for reviewing and testing new products before they are launched on the market, and making recommendations for the improvement of existing ones. This kind of work can either be focused on dealing with documentation related to the quality assurance and launch of these products, or include hands-on testing on the products themselves. The research and development area is still in early development stages in Malta. These jobs tend to require an engineering or science degree together with meticulous attention to detail, patience and teamwork spirit.
Typical jobs: quality officer. r&d engineer. test engineer. lab analyst.assistant research scientist. project engineer. product development engineer. r&d technician. project manager. data scientist.
People in sales can work in many settings and their job title tends to change according to where they work. Essentially, all salespeople are responsible for selling the products and services of their business and are generally the liaison between the client and the company they work for. This occupation truly is one for those who love interacting with people and who prefer not to be confined to an office. You must be trustworthy, outgoing, friendly and have a skillful way with words. It doesn’t hurt to be a little bit charming either.
Typical jobs: real-estate agent. business development manager. sales representative. account executive. customer relationship manager. sales assistant. telesales executive. sales consultant.
Social welfare refers to the care and support of individuals with psychological, social or family challenges. This includes guidance in schools, personal and on a community level. Empathy and excellent listening skills are a must in this profession. You should also have the ability to build trust, be patient, determined, non-judgmental and believe in making a change.
Typical jobs: clinical psychologist. health psychologist. criminal psychologist. psychotherapist. social worker. community carer. school guidance counselor. community welfare officer. outreach agent.
As a software developer you would be involved in reviewing and testing current software, making improvements and maintaining the system once it is up and running. Technical skills and a passion for code are naturally prerequisites for this kind of job, but you must also possess qualities such as attention to detail, patience and keeping up to date with the latest software, tools, languages and programs.
Typical jobs: java software developer. quality and testing engineer. C# developer. business analyst. web developer. technical software support. solutions architect. front end developer. mobile app developer. video game developer.
The education function revolves around the transference of knowledge and skills to others. To become a teacher, you need to specialise in a particular subject such as social studies, English or Math. You also need to be assertive, patient, empathetic, disciplined and able to adapt your methods to suit individuals of different abilities.
Typical jobs: primary school teacher. university lecturer. TEFL. special education teacher. learning support assistant. kindergarten assistant. educational psychologist. curriculum developer. director of studies.
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