Are you choosing an occupation or an educational programme?

You have many choices – career selection is not a jigsaw in which you just have to find the only slot where you fit in. It is rather about what you would like to learn to do.

This is why you should find out about your opportunities in working life and the educational paths that lead you to them. There are plenty of options – and it is your call.

When selecting a career, it is important to know

  • what your strengths are
  • what kind of issues you would like to work with
  • in which tasks and occupations this would be possible.

You must be clear about your wishes, values, strengths and restrictions, and your opportunities in working life and education. You are the best expert of your life, and you make your own decisions. However, it is sometimes difficult to see things in a neutral light, and it is thus also good to listen to the views and feedback of others about your ideas.

Even if selecting a career is an important decision, it will not set the course for the rest of your life. The educational system is more flexible than it used to be, and the decisions you make now will not necessarily close the doors permanently.

In today's world you may have to change occupations, even several times over – either because you wish to or because you have to. Read more about career junctures in the section Rethinking your career.

Think about and determine the direction of your career

What do you like to do in your free time? And where could you do something similar for work? When looking for answers to these questions, remember that you cannot want something that you know nothing about.

You should thus be active and shake off your preconceived ideas when finding out

  • what possibilities are on the offer that you would like
  • what you would like to do for work
  • what would be possible for you.

When you have answers to these questions, it will be easier for you to make a decision about your career and head for goals that are meaningful for you. You can start looking for the answers by completing a goal-setting exercise.

Goal-setting exercise (in Finnish, pdf) 

You can use the AVO career selection programme to

  • find out what kind of work you would like to do
  • assess your own strengths and any restrictions you might have
  • complete a test that identifies your interests to find out what type of tasks would interest you
  • see which occupations are the best match for your wishes.

Have a look at the AVO programme

If you have already worked out some options for your education or occupation, you can use the Laskuri (counter) function to compare them.

Laskuri (in Finnish, 

Sometimes you may need outside help to find your direction or to clarify your initial plans. For information about how the TE services can help you to set your goals, see the page on Support for decisions concerning your education and career.