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Finding your career path

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Published: 20 May 2021

Female student at a mac

As a child, you were probably asked what you want to be when you grow up. Answers normally ranged from ballerina to firefighter.

But unless you’re one of a very small number of people, your plans have probably changed a lot over the years.

Now you’re at the University of Sunderland in London, studying for your degree and faced with the same question – what do you want to do when you graduate?

It’s ok to not have an answer to that question. Many people who’ve been in work for years still aren’t sure.

But if there were ever a good time to think about your career path, it’s now.

What are your career goals?

Spend some time thinking about the following questions:

  • What do I want to get out of my job?
  • What do I believe in?
  • What do I like doing (at work and in your free time)?
  • What am I interested in?
  • What am I good at?

These will give you a better idea of the kinds of things that matter to you in a job. It’s a good starting point and a useful way of making sure you stay on the path you want to be on.

Have a five- and ten-year plan

Now you know the sort of things you like, do some research about the kinds of roles which fit in that description.

Look for people who are doing well in those fields and use sites like LinkedIn to see their cv’s.

Use that as a basis for your career paths – find the job titles you’d like to have at different stages of your career and map out how you’re going to get there.

Look through your previous experience

A really good way of figuring out what you want to do with your future is to look at what you did in the past.

If you’ve had jobs before coming to the University, think why you liked them, or why you didn’t.

Write it all down so you can look for jobs that meet the criteria you want in a role.

If you’re coming straight from school or home life, think about the kinds of things you do in those roles.

You’d be surprised how much can be transferred into the workplace.

Boost your skills

Of course, your studies will play a major part in you gaining the knowledge you need for whatever career path you decide to take.

But it’s also worth looking at what other skills you’ll need for your future.

We always recommend signing up for one of the University’s free short courses, including:

But also take the time to find free skills training courses online that can help.

For example, if you’d like to learn to code, use sites such as Codecademy. Want to pick up a language? Try Duolingo.

There’s a world of work-related skills training out there that can help you on your career path.

Whatever you decide to do with your future, the University of Sunderland in London Careers and Employability Service is here to help.

To have a one-to-one chat with them, book a meeting through Compass.

Alternatively, email careers-london@sunderland.ac.uk or visit the website to find out more.

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