There is no exact science to call on when choosing a career.
One way to go about it is to think about you: your strengths, values and preferred working conditions and then explore available roles. As you do so you can compare those roles to your strengths, values and your preferred working conditions. You won’t find a 100% match, but a 50-60% match might be worth investigating further.
Thinking about you
Take some time to think about the following:
Typically we enjoy doing things we are good at. Because we are good at these things we can easily prove our capability to employers, making it easier to get jobs and more likely that we will thrive in them. Consider;
- What are you good at?
- What do you love/hate doing (at uni and in your spare time)?
- Think of the last few times you were really engaged in something – what were you doing?
Take a look at the Career Options section of the Careers Moodle for a helpsheet on thinking about your strengths.
What you value in life is likely to impact what kinds of roles and organisations you find appealing.
For example, try putting the following 5 values in order, from most important to you to least important.
How important to you is:
- Earning a lot of money
- Helping others
- Making a difference in the world
- A life filled with fun, enjoyment and play (e.g. sports and other activities)
- Achieving excellence in your work life
Someone who put “Earning a lot of money” at the top and “A life filled with fun, enjoyment and play” at the bottom might go for a very different job that someone with their choices the other way around.
Take a look at the Career Options section of the Careers Moodle for the helpsheet “What's Important to You - Values Grid” for an exercise that will help you explore this in more depth.
Different roles, companies and industries have different conditions and situations.
Consider the following. Which of each pair would you prefer?
- Fast-paced and high-pressure OR slow-and-steady?
- Predictable routine OR constant change?
- Office-based OR outdoors?
- Taking sole responsibility OR following orders?
- Social OR alone?
Take a look at the Career Options section of the Careers Moodle for the helpsheet “What's Important to You - Values Grid” for an exercise that will help you explore work conditions and situations in more depth.
Here are some ideas for exploring roles that might suit you. As you explore compare the details of the roles with your list of strengths, values and preferred working conditions.
To find out more about choosing a career take a look at our recorded workshops, including "What to do when you don't know what to do". You may also wish to book an appointment with a careers consultant to talk over your situation – whether you currently have plans or not.