Choosing a career is one of life’s biggest decisions so it’s never too soon to start thinking about career planning. It may sound like a daunting prospect, but the sooner you do, the sooner you can put a plan into action that will help you achieve it.
Here are our top 6 tips to help with career planning:
Do your research
Whether you have an idea of what you’d like to do or not, doing your research is an important part of career planning. Take a look online at the different career options open to you and find out the types of skills and qualifications required. Once you know what you need to succeed in that sector, you’ll be in a much better position to plan out how you’ll achieve it. In line with this, focus on where there are skilled shortages, now and potentially in the future. Once you complete a qualification you want to be able to move quickly into a job opportunity.
Most schools, colleges and universities also offer a career advice service and many also offer open days and career fairs. These are a great way to find out about the variety of roles on offer and let you get help and advice from those in the know.
Engage in extra-curricular activities
When you apply for jobs it’s not just your educational qualifications that count, but also the things you do alongside this. Taking part in extra-curricular activities can help boost your hiring potential and will teach you skills such as team working and communication, which will be invaluable to a potential employer.
Volunteer or get a part-time job
Volunteering or working part-time alongside your studies is another way to learn skills and make contacts that can be useful for your future. It also shows a willingness to engage and get involved which employers will like, and if they can see that you already have experience of being in a work environment it can make you more employable too.
Apply for internships
Internships are a great way to gain experience in your chosen career and allow you to see if it’s the right career for you. Some internships can also turn into full-time positions, as it’s a great way for employers to see if you’re the right fit for their company, and if you are you could be offered a job when you finish your studies. These placements can be competitive, so be sure to apply early.
Create a quality CV and keep it up to date
For many roles the first thing you will be required to submit is your CV. Your CV will show potential employers your qualifications and employment history as well as any other key skills you can offer. As you learn new skills be sure to keep your CV up to date to reflect this and if you can, get someone to check it over for you.
Prepare yourself for interviews and assessment centres
The job market is competitive and most roles now come with a lengthy recruitment process involving interviews, online tests and an assessment centre. Make sure you’re ready for these by preparing answers for common interview questions, setting up a mock interview or going to a mock assessment centre. Practicing these techniques will allow you to be more confident on the day and improve your skills, giving you a better chance of getting through to the next stage.
Sometimes it might seem difficult to know what you want to do with the rest of your life and career planning might sound overwhelming, but if you know all the options that are available to you and take small steps towards planning your future you will soon find it’s not as scary as it seems.
If you would like help and support with learning some of the key skills that can make you more employable, then get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss options with you.