Have you thought of what you are going to do after you graduate from high school or post-secondary school education? Do you have any plans? Many young people are unsure about their future in the working world.


Have you thought of what you are going to do after you graduate from high school or post-secondary school education? Do you have any plans? Many young people are unsure about their future in the working world. They want to earn their own money and live like the adults, yet when it comes to what they want to be, they’re confused and uncertain.
They say “I’ll just take whatever comes along.” Did you know that most people spend an average of 40 years in the work force? That’s a long, long time to spend doing “whatever comes along.”
A person’s life is full of things he or she can’t control. Like, you can’t change the weather or the fact that you need to eat to stay alive. You, however, have something to say about how you spend your work life. You don’t need to just take whatever comes along. You can find work you are happy with.

The World of Work

Work can be done by just about anybody, and there’s a job somewhere to suit almost everyone.

Kinds of Jobs

The kind of jobs available are almost countless. For example, is there a billboard besides the road? How many jobs do you think have to do with a billboard? Here are some;

  • Landlord. Owns the property on which the billboard is standing and collects rent.
  • Designer or Architect. Drew up the plan for the billboard’s construction.
  • Carpenter. Followed the designer’s plans to make the billboard.
  • Electrician. Installed lights so that the billboard can be seen at night.
  • Advertising Salesperson. Sold the space on the billboard to an advertiser.
  • Advertising artist. Designed the picture appearing on the billboard advertisement.
  • Advertising writer. Wrote the words appearing on the billboard advertisement.
  • Signs painter. Took the design from the adverting artist and writer and painted it on the billboard.

Now, as you walk down the street look around you. Everything that meets your eye is linked to some kind of job. Think of other jobs you can generate.

Places to Work

Have you thought about the places people work? Some jobs such as forestry are done outside, doctors do their jobs indoors, jobs done on spaceships are performed in tight quarters, those done by firefighters are done in dangerous places, and many more.

Times to Work

Every hour of the day and night, someone somewhere is working. Businesses run for specific hour depending on the services they offer. For example, a hospital must be open 24/7, a big hotel is staffed around the clock for travelers who come and go both day and night. Other work is done according to seasons or whether it is day or night. For example, construction work is done during warm months, workers who clean office buildings do most of their work at night.

Work times also vary as to the number of hours put in. Most people work full time, meaning 40hours a week.

Changes in the Work World

The world of work is constantly changing. Some businesses fail, new ones start, some products catch the public fancy, others lose favor and disappear. For example, the field of electronics is changing so fast that a product can be out of date before it’s in the stores. While you’re considering the type of work you want to do, the work world will be changing. All changes affect jobs, but being aware of the changes can help you choose a job with a more certain future. These are few of those changes affecting jobs today;

Social Changes

Today young married couples are waiting longer to start families. Years ago men worked to earn the family income while the women managed the homes. Now most couples find it necessary for both the man and woman to work outside the home.

The number of women who work outside the home has greatly increased in the twentieth century.

Lots of young female students in high school don’t expect to be working at age 35. However, they may find that they can’t leave their jobs. Some experts predict that females will work at an average of 35 years and that their pay will be more that what men earn. The increasing number of women who work outside the home is an important change that has affected the world of work.


Technology is the use of ideas, processes, tools and materials to get thing done. Consequently, as technology changes, the work world changes. These technological changes may involve new equipment, new materials or new methods.

New equipment can affect many job areas. During the early part of the century, Blacksmiths were needed to make and repair metal tools and objects, such as horseshoes. Today there’s little need for blacksmiths since cars and tractors have replaced horses and metal tools, and objects are now made in large factories.

In 1974 a small electronics firm made a personal computer in kit form. This microcomputer has affected our personal lives, created jobs, and changed industrial systems and processes. It has affected the courses you take, how you enroll in school, and how the school keeps records. The computer is a development that can’t be ignored. Everyone who will work in the years to come has to know about computers.

Technology also changes methods. It can help make the workplace safer, more comfortable and enjoyable. It can get jobs done faster. For example, workers in the clothing industry used to cut cloth by hand. Now cutters are power driven and computerized to adjust to the thickness of the cloth.

Many jobs have also been created that deal with the after effects of technology. Such technological inventions as foam containers for fast-foods, hair spray ingredients, and toxic wastes are all troublesome by-products of technology at work. If not handled correctly, these products and substances can harm the environment. There’re many important jobs that can relate to their safe disposal. Technology in the form of computers has changed our lives.

Legal Changes

The Canadian Human Rights Act has made it illegal for a company or business to discriminate (treat people differently) because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Other laws have made it illegal to discriminate against people for other reasons such as, the person’s material status, family background, Physical or mental disability, and age. Because of equal employment laws, people have a better chance of being treated fairly both when they look for a job and after they’re hired.

Laws affecting product safety have also affected the work scene. Workers are needed to design and test products that must conform to these laws. For example, when the law required seatbelts to be placed in all cars, workers were needed to make and install them.

Economic Pressure

In general economics has to do with money. Many job changes are made for economic reasons. Sometimes the workers themselves put economic pressures on an industry. They may band together and demand that the company pay them more money. If the company is healthy and can afford to increase pay, the workers may win. If the company is already in economic trouble, it may have to shut down. In that case the workers will be out of both money and jobs. Economic reasons may force companies to use different methods or materials in making products. Heating fuels are a good example. Because the fuels we commonly use are in limited supply, their price is very high. As a result, the field of solar energy has grown. People are needed to design, build, sell and install equipment that makes solar energy useable in homes.

What is your attitude toward work? If you’re like many young people, you probably haven’t thought much about it yet. You’ve been too busy with your life as a student and teenager to think about working.

Work will be a big part of your life for a long time. What kind of job do you want to do? How will you prepare for that job? What do you want to achieve in your lifetime?

You have a general attitude about work, whether you realize it or not. This attitude has been influenced by your parents or guardians and their adult friends. The chances are very good that your feelings about work are very similar to theirs.

What do your parents think about work in general? Do they talk about their jobs, either inside or outside the home at the end of the day? If so, what kind of things do they say? (You might try making a list.) Do they seem to enjoy their work, simply tolerate it or despise it?

You probably know some people (hopefully not your parents or friends) who don’t like to work and who hate their jobs. These people live only for weekends, holidays and vacations. They go to work because they have to, not because they want to. They have a negative attitude towards work.

If this is your attitude, change it! THINK POSITIVELY about work. You will spend many of your waking hours for 30, 40, or even 50 years working. You might as well try to enjoy it. Why make yourself miserable? Besides, there’re many things about work that you can enjoy if you have the right attitude.

One of the best parts of working is that you get to know lots of people. In fact, you’ll make many good, true friends at work. Another positive part of work is that you’ll accomplish a great deal. You’ll do something useful, something that needs to be done. This will make you feel good about yourself.

You’ll also learn and grow as an individual. As you do different jobs, and more difficult jobs, you’ll become more knowledgeable and skillful. Again, this will make you feel good about yourself.

So don’t start off on the wrong foot. Give work a chance, think positively about work. What have you got to lose?

Why People Work

Why would you go to work? As you think about the answer to that question, read about some of the reasons other people got to work.

    • People work for money. People need money to pay for the basic needs like food, clothes and a place to live. They also want money for the things that make life better. Education, a car etc. Most people look for a job that will pay the most money.
    • People work to gain an identity. Identity is the way we see ourselves in our minds and the way we think others see us. For many men and women, a job gives them part of their identity. They can see themselves as people who get things done, who are responsible, and who are capable enough to be paid for the work they do.
    • People work to feel good about themselves. Everyone wants to feel important in some way. Being part of a busy, fast-moving world makes some people feel important.

      People also take pride in what they do. They like the feeling that comes with doing things well.

    • People work to be useful. By working, people feel that they’re doing their share. They may work to take care of themselves or their families, or to help others in the community.
    • People work to be with others. Most people like to spend time with others. They don’t like being alone for long periods. Work gives them a chance to be with and talk to people.

Do any of the above apply to you? Many people joke and complain about working. As you can see, however, work fulfills many important needs. Many individuals who become wealthy overnight still work.

Of course we all have days we would rather stay in bed, no job satisfies all needs. The right job, however, can be satisfying in a special way. That’s why you should think carefully about your own wants and needs. You don’t want to miss out on what could prove to be a good time.

A Job or a Career?

A job is a position of paid employment with a company or an organization. Jobs have specific duties and responsibilities. Like a job building kitchen cabinets or selling real estate.

On the other hand, a career is all the kinds of work you do in your lifetime. This includes work that you are paid for, as well as your role as a family and community member, what you do during your leisure time, and what you will do when you retire.

Some people don’t bother to plan a career, they move from one job to something completely different. However, the happiest and most successful are those who plan. Below are the advantages of making a plan;

  • You can plan ahead and have some control over your life.
  • Each job you hold will give you experience you can use for the next job in your career.
  • The amount of money you earn will increase faster because you won’t have to start at the bottom with each new job. Your growing experience and skill will be worth more money to your new employers.
  • You will be able to look back on your life and see yourself moving each day toward what you want.