Planning Your Career
You’re nearing graduation and you either have many potential career paths in mind or none at all. You may have no concrete ideas about your career yet, but you perhaps have an idea of what you want or don’t want from internship experience, and have only just begun looking around.
Or maybe you already have a career in mind – you know what you want to do but don’t have a clue on how to get there. Perhaps you want to spend a year working first before moving on to your chosen career path.
Alternatively, you may be considering further studies, have been offered a position upon graduation, or have other plans.
It’s not unusual to be slightly confused when the topic of your career comes up. But we hope to address it here and help you plan your career.
Get an idea
Inklings of fear or intimidation when talk of your future career comes up is not uncommon, and no one is going to judge you if you have not developed an idea of what career you want, or are not ready to start thinking about it yet.
You’re simply at the stage where you’re still deciding what career is the best for you as an individual. There is no one way to determine which path you should follow, and if you have no ideas about what career you want but are willing to start thinking, or have a few ideas and are ready to start planning, you’re here.
Take the time to challenge yourself, get to know yourself better and develop your self-awareness. Audit your skills and continue developing them through internships or extra-curricular activities, and, after that, assess them and find out what careers suit your skillset the best and which employers keep a look out for the skills you have honed. From there, make a decision and begin planning your career.
If you have a career in mind but are not sure how to get there, you have already begun planning for your future career. You may want to consider visiting your campus career consultant to talk over your ideas and flesh out a customised plan to keep you on track, or attending specific career programmes that offers training for a sector.
Alternatively, if you already have a career in mind but want to spend some time gaining work experience, relevant or not, first, you may wish to turn your attention to building your network instead as you gain more experience.
But planning does not only encompass a career path – if you are planning to apply for further studies, don’t be afraid to reach out for help to ensure you have settled on what is the best path, and make sure you have a plan as well.
Jump into action
At this stage, you may either be ready to apply for graduate studies or professional opportunities. Look out for opportunities in graduate schemes or vacancies in the market, and don’t be shy to ask if you need support in drawing up your resume or writing a cover letter.
The market is competitive, and if you have been applying without success, it is vital that you don’t allow yourself to be disheartened. Your campus career counsellors would be able to help you master the key skills you would need to impress employers, and there may even be times when your resume or cover letter just needs to be refreshed, tweaked or updated. There is a job waiting out there for you – you just have to find it.
But if you have achieved a graduate job or a chance to further your studies on the postgraduate level, or decided to set up your own business, congratulations are in order! Start looking out for your future career progression instead, and keep self-promoting on the relevant social media sites, such as LinkedIn.