You can generate career ideas in many different ways. Whether you are
have a look at these suggestions for an approach that suits you. And remember, it is the next step that is important - you don't have to have the next twenty years mapped out. Your career is likely to evolve as you gain experience and make a series of decisions about what is right for you.
Thinking realistically about yourself - your strengths, the skills you have gained through learning and previous experience, your personality and preferences - will help you choose a career that is right for you. Try out some of these resources, and ask those who know you best for their insights too.
You may be on a vocational course and have a clear idea of where this will take you; or you may be working and studying as part of your professional development. But if you're wondering what you can do at the end of your degree course, don't worry, you're not alone! Looking at the options with your subject, and what students from your department have gone on to do, can be a good starting point. However, it is important to remember that many employers recruit from across all degree disciplines, and the skills you gain through your time at university will be useful across a whole range of careers.
Spend time finding out about different jobs - what jobs are available and what they entail. Any work experience will give you an insight into what you like and don't like, including specific tasks in a job role and aspects of workplace culture, and will help you gain transferable skills. If you are a mature student or career-changer, it is important to reflect on your previous experience, and how this will inform your future career decisions.
'Planned happenstance' is the theory that you create opportunities by the ways you explore and respond to ‘chance’ events. You may need to be open to unplanned opportunities - your first job after graduation may not be your ideal job, but could lead on to other things, and even take you in a new, and rewarding, direction you haven't thought of yet.
According to career theorist, John Krumboltz (2009), planned happenstance means that you can benefit from unplanned events by making the most of opportunities arising from life or work-related events. Planned happenstance involves being prepared for the unexpected, and developing skills and characteristics that will enable you to recognise potential benefits and make a good decision when a 'chance' opportunity arises.
Character traits that will help you respond positively to these opportunities include: curiosity and willingness to learn, persistence, flexibility, optimism and risk-taking. In a changing labour market, being able to respond positively to different situations and maximise benefits from unplanned events are likely to become increasingly important in career management.
Information sheets on career planning:
Please come to a drop-in or book an appointment if you would like to talk to one of the Careers and Placements team.