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Career Planning Timeline

Career Planning Timeline

Career Planning Timeline

Don’t leave thinking about your future career until the end of your course! There are many things you can be doing throughout your time at college to improve your chances of getting the job or university course you want.

First Year

  • Get involved in college life. Surprisingly the best thing you can do at college to make yourself more employable is to enjoy yourself whilst at college! Employers and Universities don’t just look for good grades but also for proactive individuals who have got involved in societies, sports, volunteering, Student Union, Class Rep activities etc rather than simply studying and socialising.
  • Start to develop personal skills. Students who get involved in clubs and societies or hold posts in the Students Union have lots of opportunity to develop communication, negotiating, team working etc skills that are vital to make up a good CV or a personal statement for University.
  • Develop your IT skills. Nowadays computing skills are important for almost all jobs so make the most of using word- processing for essays, emailing, internet research, databases and using power point for presentations whilst in college as these skills could really help you in later life.
  • Prepare a CV. This can be useful for gaining part time work or holiday job so start listing your achievements now. For help with CVs please see your personal tutor or careers advisor.
  • Build up your work experience. Use placements, part-time work or volunteering as an opportunity to experience what real work is like and reflect upon this. Do you like this kind of work? Could you see yourself doing this as a future career? If not try something else, do some voluntary work, see if you can work shadow someone for a few days to gain first hand knowledge of what a particular kind of work is like.
  • Find out about what kinds of careers are open to you. Choosing a career can be tricky but it is important you have a rough idea of what kind of area you want to work in so you gain the right qualifications. You need to think about what you want from your career and what your skills, interests and abilities are along with your weaknesses. 

Try using CASCAiD www.cascaid.co.uk to gain a better idea of what might suit you.

Second Year

This is a vital year for developing your career plans and for testing them out through work experience to make sure they will suit you. If you spend time on this in the beginning of your second year it will save you a lot of time at the end of your course.

  • Work hard to get good grades. Competition for jobs and university places is fierce so it pays to work hard academically. If you are applying for university or jobs they usually ask for predicted grades and the results of your first year exams will be important.
  • Research career options. The careers service in college has library with a range of resources to help you do this alongside a careers advisor to help you. Talk to your personal tutor and Connexions advisor. The internet is also a great research tool but remember some information on the net may be out of date/ inaccurate so research carefully!
  • Keep in mind university application deadlines. If you are applying for university use https://www.ucas.com/ to research courses and apply. Early applications for university can be made from September up to January. Any applications made after this time are considered as late and may or may not be accepted. Early application is advisable! See your personal tutor/careers advisor for further information about the application process.
  • Practice filling out application forms/ writing personal statements. If you are applying for university you will be required to complete a personal statement to demonstrate your suitability for a course. If you are applying for a job most employers’ application forms want to see someone who can demonstrate real employability skills relevant to the job you are applying for so think about what skills you have and what you might need to develop. Looking at person specifications for jobs you are interested in is an ideal starting point. See your personal tutor or careers advisor for help with these.
  • Keep developing your skills. Record and analyse them, how did you develop this skill? What have you learnt from it?
  • Attend careers service talks. There are a variety of talks on throughout the year run by personal tutors and the careers service, make sure you attend them as they are important.
  • Update your CV. You will hopefully have new things to put on your CV such as summer jobs so keep it up to date. This will save you time later on.

The careers service in college makes every effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate but it is your responsibility to verify the information given is accurate before taking any action.