‘I’m feeling lost’, ‘I’m worried that I don’t have a clear plan’, ‘all my housemates are sorted with a graduate scheme except me’.
Is this you? Here at the Careers Service we hear these phrases a lot and helping students to navigate through what can seem to be an overwhelming time is a significant part of our work.
The first thing to remember is that finding clarity and a career direction takes time and effort. Except for a lucky few, it is rarely a lightbulb moment.
It is much more likely that you will start considering several career options before narrowing your field at a later stage. Remember, you are not alone! Outside your immediate circles, other students and graduates are facing the same challenge. Avoid the slippery slope of comparison at all costs.
Our team of Careers Advisers run regular ‘confused about your career’ workshops throughout the academic year. With a series of carefully devised exercises students are encouraged to work through the following stages:
Step 1: become self-aware. Choosing the right career path for you requires a certain amount of self-awareness and patience. It is difficult to start thinking about work that interests you without firstly knowing what makes you tick. Think about your skills, strengths, motivations and what you are good at.
Step 2: explore and research. Often students will say to us that they find this a difficult thing to do when they are not sure of their career direction. However, we encourage students to make a start, and in the process, recurring themes and ideas are revealed.
- Log on to mycareer and spend some time looking at the career sectors guides and options with my degree.
- Gain some valuable insight into a role or sector you have often wondered about by doing some volunteering and work experience for the Bristol PLUS award or a University of Bristol SME Internship.
- Have you ever looked at our events pages? Make a commitment to yourself to go along to an event even if you are not sure if the career is right for you.
Step 3: make choices. Remember, these are the early stages of career planning. Don’t feel disappointed if your self-reflection and research has only resulted in a couple of ideas, it’s an important start.
Step 4: Take action. Set manageable goals for yourself. What can you do now to help you on your way?
Your first step could be booking on to one of our workshops, quickfix information sessions, or a 1-to-1 guidance appointment with one of our Careers Advisers. You may find it helpful to look at our planning your career workbook.
The more time you invest in self–reflection, careers research, and developing your knowledge of different sectors, the sooner your confusion will start to fade. Come in and see us or give us a call.