Getting started

Planning for the future can be overwhelming when you don’t know where to start.

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There are two factors that can help:

Self-awareness

Knowing your strengths, what gives you satisfaction and what values are important to you is key. Improve this by:

  • Experience: any activity can improve your self-awareness such as volunteering, part-time work and involvement in co-curricular or community activities
  • Reflection: an important way to dig deeper into what you have learnt.

Carve out some time to try the following:

Job knowledge

Most of us probably know 5% of the jobs that exist.

  • Find out more about jobs from attending our employer events, from industry panels to careers fairs
  • Do some online browsing of job profiles, prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles is a great place to start.
  • If you are over-whelmed you can do this planning tool, Prospects Career Planner, to get suggestions of job profiles that match your skills and interests.  Treat this as a starting point. Or start with your degree title to get related job suggestions

Key Advice

  • You can book an appointment with a careers consultant to discuss any of the above. It’s a great way to get advice on a practical next step
  • Take every opportunity to develop – you don’t know where it might lead!
  • Find out more about volunteering
  • Get inspiration for action by looking at the activity list for the HEAR

What’s stopping you?

Here are some common reasons

  • Expecting a perfect match (almost impossible to find)
  • The (mis)perception that everyone else around you knows what they are doing
  • Fear of the future
  • The whole thing seems overwhelming
  • You just want to enjoy university

All these reasons are valid – the solution is to take one small active step and then to keep going.

Read more on our helpsheet Choosing What's Next after Graduation.