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Chasing your career path

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Published: 12 August 2021

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As a student or someone thinking about applying to study at the University of Sunderland in London, it’s easy to assume that you’ve got your career path already planned out.  

But if you haven’t, do not worry. Plenty of people begin their degrees not knowing what their future will look like.  

But the best time to start mapping out your career is right now. So, follow these simple steps to getting started on your path.  

1) Work out your goals  

Before you can figure out what kind of career you want, you’ll need to do a bit of self-reflecting.  

Ask yourself what matters to you, what skills you have, what things make you excited or interested.   

Answering these will give you an idea of the kinds of areas you might enjoy working in.  

2) Make a five-to-ten-year plan  

Once you know what you could do, it’s time to start researching.  

Lookup people that have the jobs you want. You can be really bold with this, look for CEO’s, department heads, people that run their own businesses.   

Try and find out what other jobs they did and when. This will give you a structure for the kind of milestones you want to be reaching too.   

3) Think about your personality type  

This is essentially a group of traits that you have which go together to make up who you are.   

Depending on the personality type you are, you will find you’re better at different things.   

A good test to try is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. You can try it out for yourself with the free 16 Personalities test which gives you a whole section on the kinds of jobs you would enjoy.  

4) Look at your past  

A good way of understanding what you might like to do in the future is to think about the things you did in the past.  

What tasks have you liked in previous roles? What aspects of your university courses were the most enjoyable? Are there any things you really didn’t like and won’t want to do again? 

5) Consider your courses  

Certain roles have specific education requirements you will need to match.   

For example, if you want to go into nursing management, you should probably study a BSc (Hons) Nursing (Top-Up) rather than an MSc Tourism and Hospitality course.  

Go through the jobs you put down on your five-to-ten-year plan and see what qualifications you need.   

When you’re ready, make sure you look through our courses to find the right one for you.  

6) Upskill  

Once you know what you want to do and how you can get there, it’s time to think about the sorts of skills you’ll need for the roles.   

Make a list of all the things you know you can do already. Are you a good communicator, can you use specialist technology, have you got management experience?   

Then work out what other things you need to achieve and start working on them 

When you work out your career path it’s easy to feel like you must stick with it, since you went to so much effort.  

But the important thing to remember is that everything and everyone changes. You might get 3 years into your plan and realise you want something else.  

That’s not a bad thing. The trick is to be flexible, always be learning and look for opportunities as they come your way.  

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.ukFind out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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