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.
You may be tempted to rush straight in to applying for opportunities even if you are not too sure what to do. Although this may seem like a good way to catch up, understanding what you have to offer an employer and why you are interested in a certain career can help you to make an effective application. A quality, tailored application is always better than submitting similar/the same application in bulk.
To help you think about what you have to offer, try reflecting on your degree and any previous experience whilst taking the following questions into consideration:
- What am I interested in? Understanding what drives you… What do you like/dislike about your degree? What did you enjoy/not enjoy about any previous experience? What are your hobbies? What wouldn’t you like?
- What am I good at? Understanding your strengths… What skills are you confident with? What have others praised you on? What relevant experience (studies, work, volunteering, extra-curricular) do you have? What am I less confident/skilled in?
- What motivates me? Understanding what is important to you… What is simply ‘nice to have’ for a career and what is a ‘must have/need’? You might want to consider: Company Values, Location, Responsibility, Salary, Stability, Variety, Work Environment, Work/Life Balance, Working Hours etc.
There are also a number of online tests and questionnaires that will help you to know yourself better: