The foundations of successful career planning are built on self-awareness.
This involves looking at your skills and competencies and understanding your values, interests and personality to find a best fit career for you.
Here are some practical ways you can do this:
- Discover and research job roles matched to your skills and preferences with Prospect Planner
- Understand your personality type with icould buzz quiz
- Develop the skills and competencies employers are looking for - which ones do you have?
- Take a personality test, from the Institute of Psychometric Coaching
- The Big Five Personality Traits Model measures five key dimensions of people's personalities, find out more and take a test
- Explore what you do well and what you enjoy with the World of Work strength's tool
Career planning is not complicated, not something to be dreaded or put off, but rather a process that should be liberating and fulfilling, providing goals you can achieve during your study years or a clear path to beginning a new career after graduation. Career planning should be a rewarding and positive experience and something that will allow you to reap the benefits for years to come.
The foundations of successful career planning rely on your self-awareness. Understanding what makes you tick, your likes, dislikes and preferences will influence your job choice and ultimately job satisfaction.
Examine your hobbies and interests
It may sound odd, to consider non-work activities when career planning, but many times your hobbies and leisurely pursuits can give you great insight into fulfilling future options. Think you can’t make a hobby into a career? People do it all the time. Read the Forbes article on turning your hobby into a job.
Record your past accomplishments, achievements and experience
Most people don’t keep a very good record of work accomplishments and then struggle with creating a powerful CV when it’s time to search for a job. Making note of your past accomplishments, recording your achievements, and updating your CV will help you to clearly articulate your experience and evidence your suitability for a role in applications and at Interview. Read our advice on compiling a winning CV.
Identify your desirable skills and competencies
Gain a stronger awareness of your employability skills, and practical ways to fill your skill gaps and also familiarise yourself with the competencies used by employers in graduate recruitment with your skills and competencies checklist. You may also find the Skills Transformer a useful tool.
Set goals and objectives
Can you be successful in your career without setting goals? Of course. Can you be even more successful through goal-setting? Most research says yes. By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement, and you'll see forward progress in your hard work. You will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognise your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you've set. Read more about setting personal goals and the rewards of future planning.
Explore your options
Picture yourself in the future. Where will you be in a year? In five years? A key component to developing future scenarios is researching career paths. Don’t leave your career to chance, give yourself the advantage when facing the highly competitive graduate labour market, understand what is available, considering if further study is right for you or whether its a good time to broaden your horizons with travel. Explore your options.
Talk to us
You will find a huge amount of self-help advice and information on our site, so after digesting all of the relevant stuff, it may help to talk through some of your thoughts and plans. Our Careers Consultants are on hand to support you from the moment you start here at Reading, and as you continue your journey after graduation. We have appointments most days, so check availability and book online today via MyJobsOnline.