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Career education skills and attributes

To effectively manage multiple careers that balance different forms of work with other priorities and interests, a young person needs to develop a specific set of knowledge, skills and attributes. These all relate to the three key areas of career development outlined below. These areas should be viewed as inter-related; and are generally developed concurrently rather than separately. They can be developed in all areas of a school’s curriculum and extra-curricular programs.


Know yourself
  • Be self aware
  • Work well with others
  • Be a lifelong learner
  • Be adaptable
  • Present yourself well
Know your world
  • Know what's possible
  • Use technology and information effectively
  • Understand work
  • Explore the labour market
  • Experience work
Manage your future
  • Find and use opportunities to learn and explore
  • Make informed decisions
  • Plan and build your career
  • Balance work and life
  • Embrace change


To learn more about career education skills and attributes, explore these areas:

Know yourself – self-development:

Students need to understand their own skills, strengths, interests and values to make more informed decisions for their future. Many of the employability skills essential for managing careers over a lifetime relate to self-development. They include teamwork, communication skills and flexibility, as well as building resilience and maintaining a positive self-concept.

Be self aware

  • Identify your interests, skills, strengths and values
  • Understand what affects self-concept and maintain a positive one
  • Understand your interactions with others
  • Identify areas for potential growth.

Work well with others

  • Use communication skills to interact positively and effectively with others
  • Show leadership and work well in teams.

Be a lifelong learner

  • Understand that learning new skills and knowledge provides opportunities throughout life
  • Develop strategies that support your learning needs and preferences
  • Participate in lifelong learning supportive of career goals.

Be adaptable

  • Adapt flexibly to change and grow throughout life
  • Understand that change is normal
  • Develop strategies for dealing with change.

Present yourself well

  • Understand the impact of how people dress, behave and communicate in different settings and for different purposes
  • Dress, behave and communicate in ways that will enhance opportunities for work and life.

Know your world – career exploration:

Students need accurate information about all the possible options for future work. This includes information about current and future labour market trends locally and beyond the local area. Identifying industries and jobs that are best suited to specific skills and interests and identifying different pathways to similar jobs informs good decision-making. Experiencing the work place through work experience, volunteering or paid work, or developing practical skills, such as barista courses or interview practice, also provides insight for future decision-making about future work.

Know what’s possible

  • Research the different pathways available in education and training to achieve a qualification
  • Explore beyond the obvious work and job roles in any industry to find options that will inspire you.

Use technology and information effectively

  • Use technology and communication skills to connect with others, build your networks and find information
  • Use technology effectively to research, organise and integrate career information.

Understand work

  • Learn to “see” work in the world around you
  • Understand the relationship between work, society and the economy
  • Learn about the personal and career benefits of all types of work – eg volunteering, entrepreneurial behaviours, supporting a cause.

Explore the labour market

  • Use research skills to explore labour market trends and opportunities
  • Investigate opportunities in career growth areas
  • Access people with experience and expertise to provide up to date information relevant to your needs.

Experience work

  • Use initiative and enterprise skills to identify and engage in activities that will provide insight into the world of work
  • Recognise and/or create opportunities to expand your networks and experience the world of work.

Manage your future – be proactive:

Students who can use insight gained from self-development and career exploration to make informed decisions about their future options will be better able to effectively build and manage their careers over a lifetime. Predicting possible challenges or recognising setbacks and being able to deal with them supports the career building process and assists with career and life transitions.

Find and use opportunities to learn and explore

  • Develop an enterprising mindset to create personalised ways of finding information and developing skills
  • Learn to take informed risks.

Make informed decisions

  • Think critically and creatively to make career enhancing decisions
  • Use problem-solving skills to generate alternative pathways and solutions
  • Be able to evaluate information and options in accordance with your values, needs and interests
  • Understand how to access information that you need and use it effectively and confidently.

Build and manage your career

  • Use organisational and self-management skills to secure, create and maintain work
  • Use problem-solving, creative and critical thinking skills to manage the career-building process
  • Develop good goal-setting and planning skills
  • Develop practical skills that assist in gaining work experience and building networks – eg barista skills, white card, volunteer work.
  • Use self-reflection to develop areas of potential growth into strengths
  • Use appropriate career planning tools, such as an e-portfolio, to support ongoing research and planning.

Balance work and life

  • Use organisational and time management skills to maintain balanced life and work roles.

Embrace change

  • Understand the changing nature of life and work roles
  • Plan for change, and develop strategies for dealing with unexpected changes.


Download Career Education Key Skills and Attributes Overview (A3)


All teachers contribute to students’ development of these skills and attributes.