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In choosing a career there are obviously two elements to be considered - you and the job. Most students are quite happy to read about different jobs, but find it very hard indeed to think about and analyse themselves. Yet, if you don't know what your own skills, interests, values and ambitions are, how will you know when you find a job that matches you?
Having assessed yourself you need to generate job ideas and research some of the more likely options in more depth. Armed with this information about yourself and various jobs you can then try and find a reasonably close match. When you've decided on appropriate careers to go for, the final stage is to make it happen by applying. That is, unless you need, or want, to defer going into work for a year or two by undertaking postgraduate study or taking time out.
- Use the self assessment sections of career planning books available for reference in the Careers and Employability Centre. Titles include Build Your Own Rainbow, Dude, Where's my Career?, How to Win from the Start and What Color Is Your Parachute?
- Go through the user-friendly computer-aided careers guidance programme Prospects Planner. This is a careers guidance tool designed to match your skills, interests and motivations to relevant occupations.
Generate career ideas
- Start with what can I do with my degree? on the Prospects website.
- Look at the destination sheets in the Careers and Employability Centre and online for your subjects which show what previous graduates have gone into.
- Read Graduate career stories (PDF 604KB, published by HESCU) and see how graduates before you have gone about developing their career ideas and finding their dream job.
- Use Prospects Planner which can help clarify ideas and suggest new ones as well as Targetjobs's essential advice on choosing a career.
- Try the Windmills Programme - a virtual career coach.
- Call into the Careers and Employability Centre for a drop-in session with a Careers Adviser.
Research particular careers and employers
- Check Careers Information for details on particular careers and employers.
- Attend employer or other careers information sessions arranged through us. They'll be advertised on our events pages.
- One of the best ways of finding out about a job is to talk to someone doing it. We can suggest ways of identifying appropriate individuals and how you might approach them.
- Work experience gives a great insight into the jobs and organisations and it also looks good on a CV. Finding Work Experience contains information on available programmes. You can also talk to a Careers Adviser about work experience applications.
Making it happen
Making that first application can be daunting but there is plenty of information and advice available both within the Making Applications section of the website and from calling into KC&ES and talking to Careers Advisers.
The following books are available to read in the Careers and Employability Centre:
- Successful Interview Skills
- The Ultimate Interview Book
- Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions
- Ask in the Careers and Employability Centre to watch the two interview DVDs, Making an Impact and Selection Success in One.
- Check our events pages for lunchtime sessions on CVs, application forms and interviews as well as psychometric test sessions offered to students.
- Check draft copies of CVs and application forms with a Careers Adviser on drop-in sessions.
Updated: 25 August 2016