9 Career Things That Are Just As Important As An ATAR

Brought to you by Future Tracks

If a career in early childhood teaching sounds like you, check out www.futuretracks.org.au

When exam stress and all that study pressure kicks in, it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed. But even when it’s all done, the anxiety can linger because we start to stress about our next steps to lock down that amazing career we’ve always dreamed of.

Well, snap out of it, matey, because that kind of thinking ain’t gonna get you anywhere. When it comes to your professional future, your ATAR score is only one part of the picture. There are plenty of things that are just as important as an ATAR. Truth!

#1 Professional Experience

ATAR: Don't Stress, These Skills Are Just As Important As Your Result

Image: NESA by Makers / Unsplash

While a university degree can be great and all, there’s nothing quite like having actual work experience within the field you’re looking to break into. Social enterprises like Future Tracks literally exist to help you find that real-life (and paid) work experience. Employers take prior experience super seriously because it shows you’re committed and have a level of understanding of the job that you simply can’t get from a course guide.

#2 Emotional Intelligence

It’s all about those soft skills, bb! Sure, killer grades are awesome, but what’s the point of being a smarty pants if you don’t know how to read a room or anticipate the needs of your co-workers and colleagues?

#3 Goal-Setting Ability

Goals are great because they change and develop over time, just as we do. Maybe the goals you set before your exams are different to the ones you have now? Evaluate where you’re at now and where you want to be. Just don’t give yourself a hard time if that changes and you have to redo this step in a month or two, or even a week! We’ve all been there, redone that.

#4 Your Health

ATAR: Don't Stress, These Skills Are Just As Important As Your Result

Image: Eric Nopanen / Unsplash

Umm yeah, so this might be the most important point ever because your health and happiness trump a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper. If stressing about your results is messing with your mindset, take time out, look at where the pressure is coming from and avoid catastrophic thoughts about “what if this” and “what if that?” Also, while we’re at it, STOP underestimating yourself!

#5 Your Work Ethic

Your work speaks for itself and that’s one of the biggest lessons you’ll learn in the coming years. You might have the best ATAR results in town, but it means diddly-squat if you can’t prove yourself to be reliable, hardworking and trustworthy.

#6 Making Mates And Mentors

ATAR: Don't Stress, These Skills Are Just As Important As Your Result

Image: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash

Yep, who knew that establishing friendships throughout your career was just as important as showing up on time and doing your job? Social enterprises like Future Tracks can introduce you to other people involved in your field. Finding a mentor or having a close work fam will do wonders for your mental health and happiness, and you’ll learn a lot from people who’ve been in the position you’re working towards.

#7 Thinking Outside The Box – Then Smashing It

Who said your future was written in stone? There are so many ways to break into the professional market. From non-award to internships, apprenticeships, online study, and even a gap year – knowing you have options and additional routes to your future will help you calm your farm and enjoy this precious post-high school life.

#8 Being True To Yourself

Like Kourtney Kardashian cries to her nosey sisters each and every week: “Just let me live my life!” Maybe it’s time you did the same? Do you really want to study right now? Do you really want to chase that particular job? Who are you doing this all for? If it’s not you, let it go. Don’t be defined by something you don’t actually want.

#9 Managing Expectations

ATAR: Don't Stress, These Skills Are Just As Important As Your Result

Image: stem.T4L / Unsplash

The idea that, in order to land your dream job, you have to get everything perfect the first time around is a giant bloody lie. Figure out what you want from a job, realising that your dream career might be something you’ve never considered before. If you’re creative, want flexible work hours and a job straight out of uni, Early Childhood Teaching might be for you. A job that lets you be curious, creative and community-focused? Yes please.

Take a deep breath and go with the flow. What is meant for you will find you – and you can always  find it with a bit of planning and self-love.

Get the most out of your ATAR. Graduate career-ready with Future Tracks paid work placements, leadership training and mentoring program. Find out more or apply now.

(Lead image: Simon Maage / Unsplash)