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  • InformationInformation
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  • FeelingsFeelings
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  • BackgroundBackground
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  • LearningLearning
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  • PurposePurpose
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To get started, read the user guide first, then click on any of the images above.
You can then review which issues are stopping you making your initial career choice.
After each section you will return to the home page.
Review each section until you have completed them all then
click submit to move to the prioritising stage.


Read through each of the 5 statements in turn.
If you feel the statement presents an obstacle for you at the moment,
then click "yes". Click "no" if you don't.
Try not to spend too long on each statement.
The answer you select turns to red so you can track your decisions.
You can make changes right up to when you begin to prioritise at the next stage.


Read through each of the 5 statements in turn.
If you feel the statement presents an obstacle for you at the moment,
then click "yes". Click "no" if you don't.
Try not to spend too long on each statement.
The answer you select turns to red so you can track your decisions.
You can make changes right up to when you begin to prioritise at the next stage.


Read through each of the 5 statements in turn.
If you feel the statement presents an obstacle for you at the moment,
then click "yes". Click "no" if you don't.
Try not to spend too long on each statement.
The answer you select turns to red so you can track your decisions.
You can make changes right up to when you begin to prioritise at the next stage.


Read through each of the 5 statements in turn.
If you feel the statement presents an obstacle for you at the moment,
then click "yes". Click "no" if you don't.
Try not to spend too long on each statement.
The answer you select turns to red so you can track your decisions.
You can make changes right up to when you begin to prioritise at the next stage.


Read through each of the 5 statements in turn.
If you feel the statement presents an obstacle for you at the moment,
then click "yes". Click "no" if you don't.
Try not to spend too long on each statement.
The answer you select turns to red so you can track your decisions.
You can make changes right up to when you begin to prioritise at the next stage.


Read through each of the 5 statements in turn.
If you feel the statement presents an obstacle for you at the moment,
then click "yes". Click "no" if you don't.
Try not to spend too long on each statement.
The answer you select turns to red so you can track your decisions.
You can make changes right up to when you begin to prioritise at the next stage.

Prioritise


Read through the following statements that you have identified
as presenting obstacles for you at the moment.
Select between 1 and 5 of these that you feel are the highest priority for you to tackle.
The answer you select turns to red so you can track your decisions.
You can make changes until you click Submit.

Action


Below is the feedback for each of the issues you have prioritised
as the biggest obstacles to your career planning.
Now read through the feedback, including looking at the links provided,
to decide which actions you want to take to help you overcome the issues identified.
Don't forget to add any particular ideas/thoughts/plans you have in the box at the bottom.
The next statement will appear once you have clicked Submit.

Your Plan


Unlocking career choice for you

This is "Your Plan". It includes the issues that you have identified through
Career Unlocker and action points that you have decided to take to move
you forward plus any notes and thoughts you have written down along the way.
It is important that you identify precisely what your next steps will be after
completing Career Unlocker. Start by looking at the "advice on action planning"
at the bottom of this page and then complete the final box to provide you
with your clear, precise next steps.

  

About Career Unlocker

What does Career Unlocker do?

Career Unlocker is designed to help those who have got stuck at some point during the career decision making process. This can happen for a number of reasons and Career Unlocker helps you to identify what the obvious and underlying reasons are for you in your unique situation and provides advice on how to make further progress. It groups potential obstacles as follows:

  • Information: Do you know enough about yourself, the opportunities available to you and how you can go about acquiring them?
  • Feelings: Feelings are the things that impact on your thinking about your future. Are they a help or a hindrance?
  • Attachment: Who are your significant others? What impact are they having on your decisions?
  • Background: What is your gender, ethnic origin, disability, etc and are these or your other past experiences having a significant impact upon how you choose your career?
  • Learning: Are you making sense of and spotting the patterns in the information you have gathered?
  • Purpose: Do you know what you want your future contribution to society to be and what you hope to achieve?
Where does the idea for Career Unlocker come from?

Career Unlocker is inspired by a well know Careers theorist and Researcher called Bill Law. His CPI model (Coverage, Processes, Influences) is the basis for this tool. To learn more about Bill Law's work then head to www.hihohiho.com. We acknowledge that without Bill's work we could not have created this tool and offer our thanks to him in allowing us to adapt his work to help Higher Education students and graduates.

Credits

The Career Unlocker project was led and written by Tania Lyden with contributions from Bill Gothard. IT programming was undertaken by Ruben Arakelyan and Chris Flanagan, all from the Careers Centre at the University of Reading. Graphic Design work was completed by Alex Caswell. The project was funded by CCMS

We hope Career Unlocker helps you work out what's stopping you from making progress and wish you all the best.

What do I have to do?

You will be presented with five statements for each of the six groups of potential obstacles. You need to decide whether or not the issue is causing difficulty for you at the moment.

Once you have identified which statements are relevant to you, you will then select between 1 and 5 which are the highest priority for you: the obstacles that you feel are contributing the most to your lack of progress.

You can then read through the feedback and select potential actions to take to form a list of suggestions, or identify your own plans and record them.

Finally, we ask you to create a brief action plan. This will provide you with a clear focus for what you will do next.

Your plan

Throughout your use of Career Unlocker you will be asked to "submit" your work. That information will be sent to "Your Plan". Your plan will contain:

  • A list of your priorities under each of the six categories.
  • The actions that you have selected for each priority.
  • Any notes or plans you have input for each priority.
  • Your final plan of actions to take once Career Unlocker is completed.

Once completed, you will be able to print out a report, download a report or email it to yourself for you to refer to later. We actively encourage you to save this report in iLearn to keep it safe and accessible.

Storage of data

Make sure you are aware that we do not permanently store any of your responses on a database and so when you have finished working on Career Unlocker, unless you return to the same computer, your data will have disappeared.

Timing and approach

We recommend that you plan in at least an hour, and ideally two hours (to review the feedback thoroughly) so that you do not lose any work you have completed. Ideally you really need to complete it all in one go.

Contact us

There are a number of reasons why you may wish to contact us regarding your use of Career Unlocker:

  • You may want to give us positive or critical feedback on how useful you found Career Unlocker.
  • You may wish to point out any links that are not working.
  • You may want assistance with an aspect of the tool.
  • You may have suggestions about how the tool could be improved.

If so, then please contact us at careers@reading.ac.uk, stating that your enquiry is about Career Unlocker and providing a full description.

SMART advice

When you are creating a plan of action, it always makes sense to use this approach.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific - identify discrete tasks you need to undertake and explain them clearly.
  • Measurable - how will you know when you have completed your objective to the right level?
  • Achievement oriented - what are you aiming to get out of this activity?
  • Realistic - make sure you can do it: being over ambitious may lose you motivation.
  • Time-bounded - a deadline can really focus the mind.

It has been shown that writing SMART objectives can significantly increase the likelihood of you carrying them out.