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Developing your career plan

Luck and chance play a part, but there are four important factors when it comes to planning and developing your career effectively:

  1. self-awareness
  2. opportunity awareness
  3. decision-making
  4. transition learning

Career planning

There is more information about the theories behind career planning on the Destinations website.

Know your strengths and weaknesses

Being conscious of your strengths and weaknesses, your preferences, values and talents will really help you plan a career.

External resources

  • Destinations - helps students and recent graduates manage their careers. Use the 'You' menu to explore your interests, personality, skills and values. (Log in using your Essex ID and password.)
  • My Prospects Career Planner - identifies jobs based on your skills and motivations.
  • All about Careers: Careers Test - questionnaire to identify your skills and interests and what jobs might suit you.

What could I do?

You also need to know what’s out there - the different industries and sectors you could work in, the latest labour market trends, or roles you think might interest you.

Prospects

Prospects is a graduate careers website. It can help you explore:

Create an action plan

Once you know who you are and what you want, you have some decisions to make. You can develop an action plan by answering questions such as:

  • Have you got all the skills and experience you need for your chosen career?
  • Do you have any gaps to fill?
  • Do you need to look into further study or training?
  • When should you be applying for opportunities?

You can prepare an action plan in any format that works for you. The main thing is to identify short and long term goals, and what you need to do to achieve them. Set yourself deadlines to keep yourself on track, and make your goals SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timetabled.

Match yourself to opportunities

Transition learning is all about applying everything you’ve done to come up with a plan. A successful plan will allow you to stand out from the crowd and present well during the selection process.

Further information

Meet a Careers Adviser

Don’t just wonder about your career. Make it happen. Our professional and friendly Careers Advisers are here to help you figure it out. Maybe you know what you want to do and need to talk about how to get there? Perhaps you simply don’t have a clue what might suit you? Fear not. We can help. If you’re after an understanding ear and expert advice, you can find it at the Employability and Careers Centre.

So what are you waiting for? Pop in at our reception on square 2 today to book a career guidance appointment.