If you are currently at university studying for your degree, you are likely to already be considering what career options will be open to you once you have graduated.
Some students will already have decided on their career path and chosen their degree course accordingly, such as medicine or law, while others may still be undecided about the type of role they would like to pursue.
Whichever category you fall into, it is useful to follow some simple steps to help find the right career for you.
These are also useful tools for throughout your career, such as when you are considering applying for a promotion or looking for a complete change in direction.
Understanding you and your options
Before you begin to think about your career options, you really need to understand who you are and what skills you already have. Think about what makes you tick. If you get cabin fever being indoors for more than half a day, it is probably not a good idea to look at jobs in which you will spend all your time in an office.
Look at all your whole skillset, not only your qualifications but also any voluntary or part-time work you have done and the experiences you have gained. Think about where you want to be in the longer term and factor this in to any career choices you make now.
If you are struggling to identify your personality traits, there are plenty of psychometric tests online that you can take to help you determine your characteristics.
Explore all your options
It may seem that your degree course steers you in a certain direction, but are you sure this is the only route open to you? Think about sectors you would like to work in and the type of roles that attract you, then do your research.
Review salary surveys, how many roles of each type are currently available, and whether current employees are satisfied in their job.
You can then start to narrow down the type of roles you think would be best suited to you – probably five or six – and look at them in more detail. Writing a pros and cons list for each role will help you to prioritise your job search.
Finding the perfect job
Now that you have a ranked shortlist of suitable roles, you need to start finding and applying for them. It is worth putting together a plan of action to help you stay focussed. Consider whether you need to update your CV, or indeed write it from scratch.
Determine a geographical area that you would be happy to work in, taking into consideration commute times and whether you would be happy to relocate.
Finally, think about the type of company you would like to work for and review their websites. Do they have the same values and aspirations as you? Once you have your plan, you can start to execute it and find your perfect job.
Remember that your skills and aspirations will change over time. Revisiting these steps at regular intervals throughout your career will help you to remain focussed and achieve your personal and professional goals.
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