Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

"NOW," "NEXT," and "FUTURE" written on sticky notes against with an arrow pointing toward "FUTURE"
Your Career

Understand Your Now, Next, and Future

Now is the next...5 minutes, 2 weeks, 3 months

Now takes up most of your time and energy. Some examples are:

  • Am I going to see them at noon hour?
  • Will I pass the next math exam?
  • Will I make the team or be cast in the musical?
  • How will I pay for a new phone?

Be intentional. Spend 90% of your energy on Now. Spend 5% of your energy on Next. Spend 5% of your energy on Future.

Most of us spend 99% of our energy on Now, so we’re not thinking about what’s next and what’s in our future. You’re probably already pretty good at Now. You know that in the next few months you’ll be:

  • Going to classes
  • Working part time
  • Doing extracurricular activities
  • Generally maintaining the status quo

The stronger the base you have in Now, the easier it is to free up the energy you need to look ahead.

If you’re interested in making the most of Now, think about this: 

How could you improve your skills?

No matter how good you are as a student, at your job, and in your other activities, ask yourself the question “How can I turn it up a notch?”

What do you need to do to stay engaged? 

School may be boring. But if you’re going to be there anyway, why not find ways to improve the situation or how you feel about it?

See how the information in a boring course applies to your life:

  • How does Physics apply to Phys. Ed.?
  • How does exploring themes in English help you identify patterns in your own life?
  • How does Math help you in day-to-day activities? 

Figure out how the course fits into the bigger picture:

  • Do you need this course to graduate?
  • Is it a required course for a program you want to take?

Motivate yourself:

  • Sit near the front.
  • Talk to the teacher.
  • Answer a question.
  • Ask a question.
  • Find out from others why they like this class.
  • Reward yourself for the work you do in the course.
How can I build relationships? 

At school, work, and other activities you have the opportunity to get to know:

  • Other students and co-workers
    You can learn a lot from the people you spend time with, especially when their ages and interests are different than yours.
  • Mentors
    You’ll find these people among your co-workers, teachers, coaches, and adult friends. They possess a wealth of information. They know many other people, they’re aware of opportunities that you may not know about—and they may be willing to share all this with you.

What’s next? 

Next is...

  • Next semester
  • Next school year(s)
  • When you leave high school

Next is not yet right in your face, but you’ll probably want to spend a bit of time planning for it, starting NOW.

Next is...

• Continuing to improve your skills, staying engaged, and building relationships
• Registering for courses that meet admission criteria for programs and jobs you’re interested in
• Continuing to explore your options following high school
• Paying attention to what you like and what you’re good at

What’s future? 

Future is...
2 to 4 (or more) years after you leave high school, when you feel ready for adult life.

Future is...

  • Keeping your options open
  • Continuing to ask yourself what you want out of life
  • Continuing to ask yourself what you want to give back


Was this page useful?