Resources for Youth
Need some help and don’t know where to go?
1: Must-know resources
Key places you can always refer to for options and opportunities.
2. Opportunities for your interests
Opportunities and career resources that appeal directly to you and what you want to do.
3. Getting funded
If you’re struggling to see how to make your dreams happen and don’t know how to get the $ together, this might help you!
4. Writing your application
You know what you want to do, and have found a way to do it… Now how do you write or present to get in?
First: the must-know resources
The Foundation for Young Australians provides programs, competitions, articles and research on young people. It has amazing tips for considering your career, your passions and interests, and navigating all things from mental health to a desire to be an entrepreneur! Check it out.
The Good Universities Guide is Australia’s largest course comparison website and is a great place to start if you’re thinking about further education. It includes information on universities, tafes and other education institutions, across all subject areas. Check it out.
Youth Central is an initiative of the Victorian Government, and has fantastic resources for everything from studying, jobs, housing, transport, money and legal rights. This site is a must to get your bearings as you head out into the big wide world. Check it out.
No matter what you want to do, or who you feel you are, you can achieve goals you set for yourself. Explore the opportunities out there, transform your challenges into a vision for your future, and always take the time to learn from your experiences.
Second: opportunities in your interest area
The world is changing and you have more opportunity than ever do be a part of it, on your own terms. Entrepreneurship, online businesses, and learning to make income from your own work can be really empowering and offers a lot of potential if you live outside the cities, but still think you have a unique thing to offer the world. Here’s some resources to explore and support you!
Applying Arts & Writing
Many people have probably warned you against the arts, right? The good news is that artistic, creative and writing skills can be applied to almost any career or job. Here we’ve gathered some resources and opportunities for you to apply your creative skills and know-how to, but remember – you don’t have to follow a strictly artistic career, to use your artistic skills. So go wide in your search!
Work in Global Issues
From taking a gap year, to following a corporate path to an international office, to volunteering overseas, to thinking about working in diplomacy, the world of work across the world is massive. We’ve gathered some key resources to help you decide where you might want to go, and what you might want to do. Our advice? Do your research, talk to people, and apply for opportunities that fit you well!
Suits, cities and power – there’s a lot to the corporate life. Many corporate jobs require tertiary degrees and challenge you to solve problems, engage with others, and be part of teams to get things done. Corporate jobs can go across everything from finance, administration, law, business, and everything in between, and many employers offer graduate positions, internships and more. Check out where you can get involved here!
Science, Tech, & Beyond
Pretty much everything in the future of work will require STEM skills – science, tech, engineering, maths… etc. Your options here are unlimited, from health fields to agriculture, from computing to fields we don’t even know exist yet. If you’re excited by the unknown, love problem solving, tinkering, patterns or anything tech-related, then watch this space. And more importantly, be part of it. Check out these options, dip your toes in the water, and see where it takes you!
For the Community
Communities across Australia and the world always need help. Whether you’re interested in doing things like we do (woohoo – empowering young people!), counselling others through tough times, working for non-profit organisations or the government, you can play a role in helping others. Volunteering is an obvious way to get started, and not only makes you feel good, but adds valuable experience to your resume. Regardless of what you want to end up doing, volunteering is a great place to start. We’ve also gathered resources on some main players in the community sector and opportunities you can get involved in now – go for an explore!
Hands-on & Physical
Are you more interested in being on the field that in the office? More of a team player? Want to see what else is on offer in the great outdoors? Lucky for you, you don’t just have to be a sports star to work outdoors. Everything from dieticians, physiotherapists, coaches and mentors, outdoor activity coordinators and camp counsellors, are all required in work outside the office door. We’ve gathered some opportunities for pursuing further education whilst continuing sport, working outdoors overseas, and getting a feel of careers you might not have thought could combine your interests with a future income!
On the Land, Off the Land
From agriculture to taking up a trade, there’s lots of potential to combine new technologies into traditional streams of work. Maybe it runs in the family, or maybe it’s just what you’ve always wanted to do – working hard on the land or in a trade can be satisfying and provide much-needed services across Australia. We’ve gathered some options for skilling up, incorporating technology into agriculture of the future, and exploring your options no matter where you live. We’ve also included some kind-of related options, because we think they’re also cool!
Third: no money… no problems?
If you live in a rural or regional area, or otherwise are struggling to get that $$ together to pursure your dream, there are options. Here are some ideas to consider:
When all else fails, fundraising can be a great way to get you a little bit of money to cover what you need. Whether its $50 to allow you to apply for a program, or something more substantial, here are some great ideas for raising your own funds to make your dreams happen.
- Hold a cake stall or a dinner party, and ask everyone to bring along $10
- Sell some of your old stuff! Gumtree and Ebay are great places to start.
- Start a page on GoFundMe.com or another crowdsourcing website (patreon is another great one for artists and creatives!)
- Politely beg all your nearest and dearest until they yield you a few sacred dollars
- Most importantly if this is something you care about, then get serious with your saving, make a specific bank account for your ‘future dreams’, and get saving!
Fourth: How to write an application or cover letter
You’ve found something you would like to do, and you’ve found a way to make it happen… now how do you get it?
Learn to talk the talk so you can walk the walk.
When you are writing an application for a scholarship, grant or any other opportunity, here are some good questions to keep in mind:
1. What drives you to apply for this opportunity?
2. Where was your interest in this sparked?
3. Why is it important to you?
4. Why is it important it is you who wins this application, and not someone else? Why you?
Also consider the organisation who is offering the opportunity, and what their aims are. You want to fit your drive to do this with their core values/mission/aims, and demonstrate how you can help them achieve what they want to achieve as an organisation.
Here’s some further handy tips!
· Every part of your application counts. While some sections might not be part of the marked criteria, they frame everything the panel will go on to read in your application. Every part of your application is part of the ‘story’ that makes up your application. Spend time refining it.
· Don’t just list your accomplishments. Weave them into a story. At the end of reading your application, the panel should have a person in their mind, not just a list of achievements. Try to weave a story out of your application, something unique that identifies you. In part, this is an exercise in ‘branding’ yourself so that you are easy to remember.
· Start and end strong. For each section, link your experience (in academia or community engagement, etc) with your drive to apply.
· Steer clear of anything ‘uncertain’. Be proactive in your sentences. Rather than “If selected, I will…” just write “I will”. If you are not entirely sure of elements of your program/application, pretend you are! These aspects can change, but remember you are writing an application to win, and a solid application that is well-researched is far more convincing than something with ‘maybes’.
· Mirror the terms the organisation uses.
· Know what the funding organisation is and aims to do. Read their documents.This might be a great opportunity for you because it gives you money, or opportunity, which you wouldn’t otherwise have – however stating this won’t necessarily win you the application! Make sure you understand this, and understand your role as a scholarship/application awardee.
· Mention your long-term goals. If you don’t know what you want to do or who you want to be, make up a good story for the moment that fits with what you are doing!
· Show some research in your application, if appropriate.
· End strong. Bring your ‘story’/’drive’ back in. Cement why it is YOU who should be selected.
Finally… set your goals and stick to them!
Bonus: ideas we love
Have your parents ever told you to ‘be resilient’? Or if you’re feeling fragile, that you should be more robust?
Here’s a new idea: be antifragile. The idea is that when things are robust or resilient, they are able to experience pressure, stress or uncertainty and remain the same. When you are antifragile, you can experience pressure, stress or uncertainty and get even better. How? Think about it like getting vaccinated, or training for a sports match. You have to endure some pain, or a little bit of sickness, in order to get stronger, better and more able.
We’ve found this mindset to help us and a lot of other people get through the tough times of uncertainty and transformation. Just remember, these experiences can make us even stronger and better – so embrace them, knowing that you’re much more equipped to deal with your life today, than you were yesterday!
Credits to the brilliant Nassim Nicholas Taleb for his book Antifragile.
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