CAREER PLANNING AND DECISION MAKING

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					CONTACT US                                                     Educating tomorrow’s professionals
Careers and Employability Service
The Student Centre
Level 4, Central Services Building
The University of Huddersfield
Queensgate
Huddersfield
HD1 3DH
Tel      01484 472124
E-mail careers@hud.ac.uk
Web      www.hud.ac.uk/careers


Careers and Employability Service




                                                                                       CONTACT US
University Centre Barnsley
Room 3/16a
Church Street
Barnsley
S70 2AN                                                                                                   CAREER PLANNING AND
Tel      01226 606262
E-mail careers@hud.ac.uk
                                                                                                              DECISION MAKING

                                                                                                    CAREERS
Web      www.barnsley.hud.ac.uk/students/careers.html


Careers and Employability Service
University Centre Oldham
Oldham Business Centre
Cromwell Street
Oldham
OL1 1BB
Tel      0161 213 5000
E-mail careers@hud.ac.uk
Web      www.oldham.hud.ac.uk/support/careers.html

If you would like this publication in an alternative format,
please ask your careers department.




                                                                                                               Educating tomorrow’s professionals
08892
                                          Contents
                                          Introduction                                      2

                                          The Careers Action Planning Cycle                 3

                                          Part One: Knowing yourself (or self assessment)   4

                                          Part Two: Knowing what is available to you        5
                                          (opportunity awareness)

                                          Part Three: Making your decision                  6

                                          Part Four: Drawing up a careers action plan       7

                                          Additional resources                              8




1   Career Planning and Decision Making   Completely reviewed August 2008                       Career Planning and Decision Making   2
            Introduction                                                                                       The Careers Action Planning Cycle
            Choosing your career can be a difficult process -         ‘Take time regularly to think about it   Where am I now?                                      Making it happen
            especially if you are not sure which steps to take.       and be prepared to work out what         Have you made a thorough assessment of where         Do you know if there are any deadlines
            Some people spend a great deal of time worrying
            about it, and others approach it in the same way
                                                                      you want first before you go heading     you are now in terms of your readiness to make a     you need to meet?
                                                                      off to the vacancy pages.’               career decision?
            they do buying a birthday present:                                                                                                                      Are you confident you can make effective
                                                                                                               Have you assessed your skills, knowledge and         applications and perform well at interview?
            • they leave it until the last minute ...
                                                                                                               experience so that you can present an accurate
                                                                                                                                                                    Remember to keep reviewing your progress
            • they don’t spend too long on it ...                                                              picture of yourself?
                                                                                                                                                                    regularly and keep developing your skills,
            • when they see it, they'll know it's the right one ...                                                                                                 knowledge and experience to remain employable.
                                                                                                               Where do I want to be?
            • they give up looking in the end and just go
              for the next thing they see…                                                                     Do you have a definite career or some careers in     ‘Have you assessed your skills,
                                                                                                               mind which match your skills, knowledge and          knowledge and experience so that you
            Are any of these typical of the way you are
                                                                                                               experience?
            approaching things? If so, this leaflet is for you.                                                                                                     can present an accurate picture of
            It introduces the logical approach to career                                                                                                            yourself?’
            planning; start early, take time regularly to think                                                How do I get there?
            about it and be prepared to work out what you
                                                                                                               Have you researched what steps you need
            want first before you go heading off to the
                                                                                                               to take to help you reach your goal?
            vacancy pages.
                                                                                                               Do you need to gain any particular work
            On the next couple of pages we outline the Careers
                                                                                                               experience and/or further training/qualifications?
            Action Planning Cycle. This is one approach you
            can take to managing your career which, as you can                                                 What resources do you need to access to
            see from the diagram, is very much a cyclical                                                      help you reach your goal?
            process and supports the principles of Lifelong
            Learning and continuing professional development
            throughout the career lifecycle.




3   Career Planning and Decision Making                                                                                                                                                    Career Planning and Decision Making   4
            Part One: Knowing yourself (or self assessment)
            This section will take you through the Careers Action Planning Cycle
            Assessing your personal strengths and weaknesses,        • Also think about the transferable skills that you
            talents and temperament before you start gives you         have to offer; transferable skills are the skills that
            a profile to match against opportunities to see which      employers tend to look for no matter what the
            will be best suited to you. Self-assessment can            sector of employment is, for example:
            therefore help you to manage your career                   communication; teamwork; analytical thinking
            effectively so that you are able to make                   and problem-solving skills; planning and
            well-informed career choices.                              organising.
                                                                     • Work experience and volunteering are an
            Putting together a Personal Profile                        important way to develop some of these skills,
                                                                       and whether you have worked before coming to
            You need to have a full picture or profile of yourself
                                                                       university or not, gaining work experience during
            which should include the following:
                                                                       your studies can help you to develop key skills
                                                                       whether they are specific to the role or not.
                                                                                                                                Part Two: Knowing what is available to you
                                                                       See our handout Work Experience and
            Skills
            What are your existing personal skills, technical
                                                                       Volunteering for further details.                        (opportunity awareness)
            skills such as IT, knowledge and the skills you feel     • Have a look at the Virtual Career Coach self-            planning. Any careers adviser will tell you that one     • Start by looking at your wider options, including
            you could (or need to) develop?                            assessment exercises via the Windmills website           of the most frequently asked questions is ‘What's          further study or training and read the Association
                                                                       at www.windmillsprogramme.co.uk For example,             available to me with a degree in ...’ Clearly, you         of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS)
                                                                       Tactic 1 under the Seven Tactics for Success             need to have an idea of what YOU want first - so if        booklet ‘Your Degree ... What next?’ available
            Motivation                                                 enables you to identify your personal skills.            you haven't done any self-assessment yet, go back          from your careers department or online at
            What interests do you have, what are your values in      • List what you want from your career. What are            to Part One of this leaflet!                               www.prospects.ac.uk
            terms of what is important to you?                         your personal needs? How realistic are these             Finding out what is available will take time - it does   • JobShop, the University’s online vacancies
                                                                       needs?                                                   not appear in the form of a handy list! Also, be           resource for students and graduates is accessible
            Personality                                              • What have other people said about you? Look at           open-minded - don't dismiss ideas until you know           24 hours a day. Additional vacancy resources
                                                                       references from former employers or work                 what is involved. Many a good opportunity has              can also be accessed via this link
            What type of character do you have and what kind
                                                                       experience reports.                                      been missed this way.                                      www.hud.ac.uk/jobshop
            of environment do you think would suit you?
                                                                     • If you have a Record of Achievement or Progress          Remember, job titles alone give little insight into      • For further information go to the
            Add to this any practical considerations you need
                                                                       File, look back over this to help.                       what's involved so some research is essential at this      Students/Graduates section at
            to consider such as salary, location, working hours.
                                                                                                                                stage – particularly where you have pre-conceived          www.hud.ac.uk/careers and take a
            Try building your own profile by trying out some         • Think about programmes you watch on TV (for              ideas about something.                                     look at the subject specific Resources.
            of the following exercises, or thinking up ideas of        example, current affairs, wildlife documentaries)
                                                                       and which articles catch your eye in a newspaper.        Start your research by using the following exercises,    • Have a look on the Graduate Prospects website
            your own!
                                                                       The subject matter may give you an insight into          or you could even discover more sources for                at www.prospects.ac.uk for careers ideas which
            • Describe yourself in 30 words or less and discuss        your interests.                                          yourself.                                                  are related to your course. Select Careers advice
              this with someone you know well.                                                                                                                                             then Options with your subject to find your
                                                                     • You should end up with information in varying                                                                       course area.
            • Think about any work experience/vacation jobs            amounts under the headings suggested earlier.
              you have done - what skills have you gained?             This forms a comprehensive profile, which you
                                                                       will be asked to work on in Part Three.
            • Think about your course – what skills have you
              gained from studying your subject? See
              Graduate Prospects www.prospects.ac.uk and             Added Bonus: a personal profile will help you to
              select Careers advice then select Options with         know what you can offer to a potential employer -
              your subject and choose your subject of study for      and help you to complete those tricky questions on
              a profile of the typical skills gained.                application forms.
5   Career Planning and Decision Making                              This is where many people start their career                                                                                               Career Planning and Decision Making   6
            Part Three: Making your decision                                                                                Part Four: Drawing up a careers action plan
                                                                                                                            A careers action plan is a personal statement that   Now try Tactic 5 of the Seven Tactics for
                                                                                                                            can be reviewed. It will help you manage the         Success on the Windmills Virtual Career Coach
            Making your decision involves taking the                  For an alternative systematic matching system,        transition from education to employment and          at www.windmillsprogramme.co.uk Tactic 5 gives
            information you've already gathered about                 try using the following computer programmes:          prepare you for lifelong learning. It maps out the   you hints and tips to help you get started with your
            yourself and matching it with what is available.                                                                steps you need to take from where you are now        career action plan.
                                                                      • Adult Directions accessible from your
                                                                                                                            to where you want to be. It should have
            In an ideal world, all your criteria would be fulfilled     careers department                                                                                       Remember this booklet is only an introduction
                                                                                                                            SMART objectives:
            in one perfect job. However, in reality, people have                                                                                                                 to the process. You should make a point of using the
                                                                      • Prospects Planner accessible via the Graduate
            to make compromises in their working lives.                                                                     • S Specific; your action plan needs                 materials suggested here and seeking help from
                                                                        Prospects website www.prospects.ac.uk
                                                                                                                              a specific focus.                                  your careers department. We are here to help you
            Begin by going to the profile you built in Part One.
                                                                                                                                                                                 at any stage of the career planning process so
            Look back at the list and decide:                                                                               • M Measurable; make sure your objective
                                                                                                                                                                                 please ask if we can be of assistance.
                                                                      Also try, Tactic 2 of the Seven Tactics for Success     is measurable, how will you know if you
            A) The priorities that will be of most importance
                                                                      on the Windmills Virtual Career Coach at                have reached your goal?
               to you in choosing career areas.
                                                                      www.windmillsprogramme.co.uk This allows
                                                                                                                            • A Achieveable; ask yourself:
            B) The things that are of less importance to you,         you to match your skills to possible career areas.
                                                                                                                              what’s in it for me?
               on which you would be willing to compromise.
                                                                                                                            • R Realistic; how achievable are your
            Go back through the vacancy and information
                                                                                                                              objectives and your overall career goals?
            sources, and with your priorities in mind,
            match jobs to your A and B lists.                                                                               • T Timed; put in a range of timescales
                                                                                                                              to help with your planning.




7   Career Planning and Decision Making                                                                                                                                                                 Career Planning and Decision Making   8
            Additional resources
            • Our range of career planning booklets are
              available from your careers department or online
              at www.hud.ac.uk/careers Go to the Careers
              Information section. For further information and
              advice go to the Students/Graduates section.
            • Graduate Prospects offers a wide range of
              information and advice to students and graduates
              at www.prospects.ac.uk
            • A weekly Central Workshop Programme (CWP)
              is held on the Huddersfield campus during term
              time. Subjects of these sessions include: career
              planning; marketing yourself effectively to
              employers; preparing for interviews; assessment
              centres and psychometric tests. For further
              details on the CWP, employer presentations and
              recruitment fairs held throughout the year, check
              our website www.hud.ac.uk/careers
                                                                   ‘Graduate Prospects
            • JobShop, the University’s online vacancy
              resource for students and graduates, is accessible
                                                                   offers a wide range of
              24 hours a day. Additional vacancy resources         information and advice to
              can also be accessed via www.hud.ac.uk/jobshop       students and graduates
            • Contact your careers department if you require
                                                                   www.prospects.ac.uk’
              further information and advice.




9   Career Planning and Decision Making                                                        Career Planning and Decision Making   10