Subjects that you liked in school and that you are good at can reveal something to you about your capabilities and interests. So ask yourself which subjects you particularly like. Are you interested in maths and have a talent for it? If so, technical studies may be the right thing for you, for example, mechanical engineering or computer science, or commercial vocational training, perhaps as an industrial management assistant, or an office management assistant. If you find learning languages easy, vocational training as a multilingual administrative assistant could suit you, or linguistics studies.
Interests out of school
After doing this, you should also think about your interests out of school. What do you do in your free time? Whether you like reading, writing, drawing, writing computer programs, or, for example, looking after your relatives: these activities also say a lot about you.
Perhaps you have already acquired practical experience, for example in your parents’ business or as a temp in another company. Did you like the work, or wasn’t it right for you? In this way as well you can find out what work you like and which occupation you can imagine yourself carrying out.
You can acquire practical experience in Germany as well in the form of work experience. If you want to have practical insights into a regulated training occupation or an occupation that requires studying, you can apply to companies for work experience.
Tests can support you as well. There are tests that test your interests and strengths and suggest suitable occupational fields or study courses. In addition, many universities offer self-assessment tests that ascertain your aptitude for a specific study course. You can do most of these tests online. However, before you start, you should find out whether there are charges for the test. Note: there are many offers that are free.
Employment agencies, for example, offer “Studienfeldbezogene Beratungstests” (study area related guidance tests). These tests show you whether you are suitable for the study areas of science, engineering science, informatics/mathematics, economics, linguistics or law. They are carried out in the employment agencies.
There is more information and links to tests under the heading “Orientieren > Was soll ich werden? > Testverfahren”.
Self-image and perception by others
Another important aspect is talks with others, for example, your family and (new) friends. Ask them how they see you. Which characteristics and strengths do they think you have? Are you resilient and conscientious, team-oriented and communicative in their eyes? Are you good with your hands or do you think you’re more responsible for organisation? Compare what others say about you with what you think yourself.
You can also obtain advice from professionals with regard to study courses or vocational training that match your interests and strengths. The vocational guidance experts in the employment agencies are available for a personal interview. You can read more about this in step 5: Who can support me if I need help?