Know yourself

When choosing your future career, it can be very tempting to flick through a graduate directory and stick a pin in a page.  After all, there are so many career options - how can you be expected to choose?

The first step is to narrow down your choices, but instead of doing this by looking at jobs, you need to begin by looking at yourself.


The key questions to ask yourself are:

  • Where am I now?

  • Where do I want to go?

  • How am I going to get there?


You need to find out a bit more about yourself as a person.  It is only by knowing your own likes and dislikes, interests and values that you will be able to make a decision about your future that will really suit you.  Some people may know this already, others will have to give this a lot of thought.


You can use our Exploring career ideas leaflet to help you get started

You can take a simple personality assessment on our website.  The results can be very enlightening!

Take a blank piece of paper, set a timer for 2 minutes and write down everything that makes you happy.  When you have finished, look at the sheet and see if you can see any patterns.  Do you enjoy spending time with other people?  Or being outside?  Perhaps there are lots of areas where you are being creative?

Gather the thoughts of the people who know you best.  They may have an insight into what you are like as a person that you had not considered.  Try to create a list of your key attributes - which, of course, you can edit!

Create a 2x2 grid for your strengths (key skills),weaknesses (areas you need to develop), opportunities (i.e. part-time work, volunteering, internships - things you can do to gain new strengths) and threats (things you cannot do due to circumstances or constraints).

Answer the following questions:

Currently I am...?  
In two years I want to be...?  
In five years I want to be...?  
In ten years I want to be...?

Then work out what actions you need to take to make these things happen.

Write down your answers to the following questions:

What are the ten things I like doing the most?
What three things must I do every day to feel fulfilled?
What are my five most important values?


After completing these exercises, you will know a lot more about yourself.  The next step is to start looking at the possible job areas that might suit you.  Go to the Exploring options pages of our site to continue your career planning journey!



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