Choosing A Career: How do I work out where to start?
If you really have no idea what to do, then coming up with a career action plan (CAP) will help you work out what to do next in order to finally come to that decision. The CAP helps you set out and summarise your academic achievements and professional skills, and will highlight the necessary steps you will need to take for the development of your career. This plan will increase your chances of achieving these targets and will, at the same time, reduce the amount of uncertainty you have surrounding your career.
The first thing you need to do is make a list of the following things and try to make notes in as detailed a way as possible.
– Subjects/courses I’ve explored (i.e. considered and researched)
– Subjects/courses I’ve studied
– Advice I have taken from talking to people
– Careers I have explored (i.e. considered and researched)
– Careers I am considering
– Professionals I have talked to
I have or plan to gain experience by…
– Joining groups and events
– Talking and related classes
Check out this example below for tips:
|Career exploration||Gaining experience|
|Subjects/courses I’ve explored: Business Management, Economics and Philosophy||I have or plan to gain experience by…|
|Subjects/courses I’ve studied: Economics||Shadowing: Head of EU sales for Cuthbert LLC|
|Advice I have taken: Professor Smith (Economics Professor)||Internships: Cuthbert LLC & MTM LLC|
|Careers I have explored: Banking, International trade and Business Consultancy||Joining Groups & Events: CIMA, RICS, Association of young professionals|
|Careers I am considering: international trade and Business Consultancy||Working: Caller for Reading Alumni foundation|
|Professionals I have talked to: Head of EU Sales for Cuthbert LLC||Talking and related classes: online classes, attend open events where discussions will focus on International trade|
After making these detailed notes, see which careers you are considering match best with the experience you have gained, or planned to gain. Even if you’re unsure about it, choose something which fits and roll with it, and decide to explore working in that sector. After deciding to focus on a particular career, create some targets using the GOAT framework: goal, objective, action, and timing. See the example below for help.
I want to explore working in: international trade
|Learn more about the theoretical side of the international trade market place||Pursue certification in trade finance||Take introductory classes in trade finance||Summer Term|
|Apply education from School and University to real world situations||Pursue summer internships and work experience with relevant organisations to build understanding and relationships||Use Career Camel to search available summer jobs and internships available; prepare CV and Video CV||July/August 2014|
Now it’s your turn to create a career action plan. Click here to download a Word document template, and here to download a PDF template.Where To Begin