Choosing a career can be a difficult and daunting decision to make and should, therefore, be given a considerable amount of thought and consideration. The current job market is extremely competitive and whether it’s for an investment banking, human rights lawyer or social care job, the high number of applicants means that you need to be sure you are suitably qualified and interested in the jobs you’re applying for to give yourself the best chance of success.
It is also a good idea to start your career planning as early as possible to ensure you have a clear path to follow once you have completed your studies. This may all seem daunting at first, but if you plan well ahead of time and follow our advice you will be able to identify which careers suit your abilities and interests and take the necessary steps to put yourself at the front of the queue for any suitable opportunities.
First and foremost, you need to show self-awareness and analyse your skills, values, interests and personality to identify your strengths and weaknesses and determine which sectors and occupations you are well suited to. This is perhaps the most challenging and time-consuming part of the career planning process, and so should be started well in advance of looking for opportunities and completing applications.
Once you have determined where to focus your search, you can begin to gather information on the resources and opportunities available to you in those areas. Students should take advantage of careers departments within their school, college or university, as they are often best placed to provide information on suitable opportunities and can sympathise with your personal preferences and requirements. It may also be beneficial to look at this early stage for work experience or internship opportunities for you to undertake during breaks from your studies, to gain relevant skills and insight into areas you are interested in.
After gathering as much information as you can and hopefully gaining an insight through practical experience, you can begin to make more concrete decisions about your future career. There are several online resources to help you decide exactly which occupations you are suited to, and this is also a good time to contact graduates, alumni, tutors and friends and family to gather advice and network in order to increase your chances of finding opportunities. You should now have a pretty clear idea of what occupations and employers to target, as well as how best to find opportunities in these areas, and so you can begin to look for vacancies and send applications to suitable roles. Good luck!