When you look for a career, it is important to know yourself.

Don't let yourself be influenced by what your parents or buddies tell you! You will only enjoy what you are good at and interrested in.

SWAIP : S for Strengths, W for Weaknesses, A for Abilities, I for Interests and P for Personality

What are your Strengths, Weaknesses and Abilities ?

Exampe -Are you good at drawing ? You can study fine arts, architecture, graphic design or industrial design...

Think of what you do well or not so well, what unique ressources you can draw on, and what others see as your strenghts and weaknesses. 

What are your Interests and Personality?

Do you like accounting, sciences, history or sports?
What do you like to do in your free time ?
Look at your school bag : is it organised or not ?
Are you shy, loud, practical, intellectual, creative, leader, follower or persuader?

Know your goals in life: for example, if you like to help others, you can become a social worker, a psychologist, a nurse or a doctor.

Think about what success means to you (make a list of past accomplishments that really made you feel worthwhile)

Get proper information on the career you want to do: talk to a person who is doing the profession you have chosen (don't be shy, people are happy to give advice) or look for info on internet. Ask your mentor to help you to meet the right people. 

Some questions to investigate :

-  What careers are available to a person with my interests, subject choices and level of academic performance?
-  What qualifications give access to these careers?
-  Which educational institutions offer programmes towards these qualifications?
-  What are the admission requirements for these programmes?
-  What alternative admission routes are available if I do not qualify?

These sites provide resources about how to select a career path

Get help !

1.The website "Careerhelp" is run by the SA qualifications authority, which offers free career guidance

Tel: 0860 111 673 / sms: 072 204 5056

2. Career information helpline, run by Studietrust in partnership with Investec Bank -

SMS the word CAREER to 31022 along with your full name and contact number - they will call you within 36 hours OR phone the free helpline during office hours at 0800-21-26-41

The helpline can be accessed from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:00 and is toll-free (from landlines). 

3. Go to Universities "open days" and ask for advice

4. Get career guidance (free of charge) at 

1. The BHP Billiton Career Centre at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, in Newton - 011 639 8400 - Monday to Friday: 8am-5pm - Saturday: 9am-13pm

Free psychometric assessment conducted by a psychologist. It takes a day (from 9 am to 3 pm): ask for permission from your school principal or go there during the school holiday.  To book for an appointment, call 011 639 84 34

You can also book a one hour assessment on Saturday - The test gives results in 12 areas in which learners might find work, with their aptitude in each area rated as a percentage. 

The Centre has also a library with information about careers (ask for the Absa "ultimate career guide" : 1250 pages full of info on each career), bursaries, studies, learnerships.  The staff can help you look for information. It is free of charge.

2. Wits University - "career counselling" (duration: 40 min)
CCDU Building, West Campus, Gate 9, Enoch Sontonga Avenue, Braamfontein. Email:
Call for an appointment between 8h40 and 15H30: 011 717 9140 - You will also get information pamphlets available on courses and careers.

"Each mentee had a private 40 minutes session with two careers counsellors, says Claire Price. They answered questions about their interests, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. They also picked up lots of information from the library about the courses on offer at Wits”   

You can also book a full career assessment (3 hours long) - check the cost.

3. Boston city campus - you first reply to 101 questions on a computer, which advises then on what you should study. Then you see a counselor for about 10 min - There are Boston campus in Orange Grove (247 Louis Botha - 011 640 49 75), Randburg (318 Oak av, Amaryllis center, 011 789 69 45), Braamfontein (011 339 21 53) and CBD. Book for an appointment

4. College Campus – Free career advice provided. You can book an appointment by calling 0861 25 32 76. A tour will also be given of the facilities and all important information will be supplied.
A good careers guide edited by SABC

Try card sorting!

Tear up some sheets of paper into blocks (say 15 per page) and write down a career on each piece. Go wild ! Write down every career that you can think of, even if it is not one you would like to do. It is quite nice to do this with a friend...

Then take out 3 blocks and write the headings: “yes”, “no” and “maybe”. Now sort the careers cards into those 3 categories: yes, I would like to know more about this career; no, this career does not interest me; maybe, I would consider this as an option.

When you are done, you can start working through the “yes” and “maybe” pile, by doing research into each career option. As you gather more information, you will add some more cards in the “no pile” and your “yes pile” will become shorter, until your are left with 2 or 3 options.