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Career planning: getting started

Whether you are someone with a clear career direction or not, Careers & Employability can help you in planning your future. There are some key steps to take to get you on the right track.

Help! I Don’t Know What To Do…

One of the most useful ways to start is to think about your skills and interests in order to work out what career areas may match your preferences. By understanding yourself better, you should be more able to identify the jobs that suit you.

There are several tools available to help you begin to prioritise and make some decisions about what you want to do:

Prospects Planner- This is a job exploration tool which aims to help you identify your skills, motivations and interests and then to match yourself to relevant job types.

Target Careers Report - The TARGETjobs Careers Report uses questionnaires and psychometric tests to explore your interests, strengths, personality and abilities and matches you to jobs that would suit you.

Key Books Include

Brilliant Graduate Career Handbook (Judith Done)

Dude, where’s my career? The Guide for baffled graduates (Tanya da Grunwald)

The Art of Building Windmills - career tactics for the 21st century (Dr Peter Hawkins)

What Color is Your Parachute? a practical manual for job-hunters and career changers (Richard Nelson Bolles).

Options with your Degree…..provides information on occupations for which your particular degree may be useful.

Your Degree ... What Next? help you to identify your skills, consider the full range of occupations open to you as a graduate and make you aware of the different employment sectors. Also available online

Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE)?

What Do Graduates Do? This annual publication records what jobs graduates from all UK Universities do 6 months after graduation. It details destinations from specific disciplines. Please see Prospects website

I Have Some Career Ideas Already…What Next?

If you already have some general ideas about your key interests, you may find it useful to carry out further research into specific occupations and jobs.

Researching jobs and careers

Careers library - Information on many graduate occupations is filed in a series of purple folders in our Careers library. These files contain materials on over 400 different occupations/careers – for example, information on being a teacher, a journalist, a forensic scientist or a meteorologist would be found in this section. Included in these files are AGCAS Occupational Profiles which contain a summary of all the main sources of information on a particular career, including details on the salary you might earn and where vacancies for particular jobs can be found. A complete set can be found on the website.

Career Basics - Download a copy of Careers & Employability guide Career Planning: Getting Started, this is also available as a takeaway handout.

Industry Information

Employer Directories - You can pick up your free copy of the graduate employer directory published annually: The Prospects Student Career Directory. and copies of other directories such as the Times Top 100 are also available. Our Job hunting tactics pages also include more information about researching employers.

Careers Advice - After doing some research, it is often helpful to get some one-to-one careers advice. Visit our Careers Appointments and Advice pages.