Got your A-level results? Now it’s time to think about your next steps…

students jumping with exam results celebrating

Congratulations! Whatever your grades, today you have reached a milestone – you’ve finished school/college and now it’s time to enter the next stage of your life. If you’re going into work, an apprenticeship, uni, or haven’t quite decided what’s next for you, check out our tips below to get a head start.

You’re beginning full-time work

Earning from a young age is exciting, but can also daunting.  To ensure your finances are in check, make sure you have a current account set up with a bank. You may want to think about a savings account too, so you have money aside for an unexpected event or for future plans. It may even be worth thinking about a Help to Buy ISA if you’re considering saving for a property in a few years’ time…

Check out our online training for step-by-step guidance on getting started with bank accounts and more.

You’re starting an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are a great way of learning and earning simultaneously. Before you start, it’s important to make sure you know your rights about pay and conditions. All apprentices must be paid at least the minimum wage which increases as you gain experience and progress through your apprenticeship – more info is available here. You’ll also need to budget your new wages to ensure you are living within your means. Check out our 4 steps to making a budget to get started.

If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice, check out this guide here.

You’re going to uni

Congrats! These may be your first steps towards independence and we realise this can seem scary. First things first, think about setting up a student bank account to keep your student loan. Student accounts are great because they generally have quite large interest-free overdrafts; this means if you’re running a bit low on cash, your bank will lend you some money for free, so long as you pay it back by the time you graduate. Check out what your options are for student funding as well as read about some common myths about student finance.

You’re taking a gap year

Taking a gap year is a great way of enhancing your CV. It’s important to take advantage of opportunities to help your local community through volunteering, or save up some money by getting into employment. If you want to go abroad in your gap year, why not check out International Citizens Service? It’s a great way to travel, volunteer, and make a difference, all while strengthening your CV. Learn all about it here.

You’re working out your next steps

This is a really exciting time – there are loads of opportunities out there for you to take advantage of. It’s important to start building up your CV – check out tips from the Prince’s Trust here. Whilst searching for jobs, take a look at our advice about claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance and see whether you’re eligible. Alternatively, have you ever thought about becoming a young entrepreneur and working for yourself? Check out our guide here on being your own boss.

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