Making choices

‌OK, so you've narrowed down the choices to a hit list of maybe 5-10 career areas that really excite you.  (If you haven't done this, go back and look at our pages on Knowing Yourself and Exploring options

The next steps are to undertake some in depth research into these roles to see if they are a good match to you.

The next steps are to undertake some in depth research into these roles to see if they are a good match to you.

Researching your Career Areas

Hopefully, by this stage you have already spent some time looking at the job roles online and reading case studies of people working in this field.  Now you can take your research to the next level.

  1. Identify organisations that are potential future employers and spend time looking at their websites, corporate literature, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn information. See our section on researching employers
  2. Use alumni contacts where possible.  You can often find them through the Stirling Alumni LinkedIn groups or recommendations from your tutors.  Some schools are also creating alumni directories to make this easier.
  3. Attend careers fairs to speak to organisations directly and ask relevant questions.  
  4. Set up a period of work experience to try out the job for real.  How to do this is explained in more detail in our internships and work experience pages.

By gaining relevant experience, not only do you make sure you have chosen the right occupation, you can also improve your CV when it comes to applying for positions after university.

Match Yourself

Once you have all the information, you can start to match yourself to the roles.  Make sure you are honest with yourself - just because a career interests you it doesn't necessarily mean it is going to be a good match.  You want to avoid finding out after ten years in a role that it's not the right path!

Consider the following questions:

  1. What is it about the job that interests you?
  2. Are they recruiting?
  3. Does it fit with your values?
  4. Do you have the right qualifications?
  5. what are the entry routes?
  6. What experience do you have to impress an employer in this area?
  7. What would you like about this job?  What would you dislike?
  8. Would the hours suit you?  (Consider your future plans as well i.e. if you would like a family, would this occupation still suit you?)
  9. Where might you be located?
  10. Are there opportunities for career progression?
  11. What is the likely salary and is this enough to meet your requirements?

If the answers to these questions match your needs to the occupation it is likely that this career area is a good match for you and you can now move on the next stage of the career planning process - Taking action!

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