Answering the question "what do I want to do?" is not always easy. Use the following information to help you as you make decisions about your career.
Start with yourself
Self-assessment can help you plan the type of career and environment that might suit you. Consider these questions.
- What is important to you and your personal life?
- What is important to you in a job?
- What do you like and dislike?
- What interests you?
- What motivates you, what makes you want to do your best and why?
- What work or study have you liked or been good at in the past?
- What are your goals?
- What do you want to be doing in ten years?
- What do you want your workplace to be like?
- Do you have an ideal workplace in your mind?
- What knowledge and skills do you currently have?
- Download USC's Career Planning Character Assessment to help you understand how your character design fits into the world of work
- USC's online Career Guide can help you select a program of study for a chosen career
- myfuture helps you explore careers to suit skills, qualities and characteristics
- Job Outlook lets you explore industries, skill sets, types of work, salaries and prospects
- Surf the net—visit industry association websites, company websites, job search websites and read all the information you can to learn more about areas of employment you are interested in.
- Over 200 career planning resources are available on Student Hub.
Talk to people
Other people can provide valuable, objective advice, ideas or a much needed reality check as you progress your plans. Try the following:
- Ask friends and family for advice—they sometimes know you better than you know yourself!
- Find people who do the job you are interested in. Ask them what a day on the job is really like. They may even let you shadow them for a day.
- Develop your professional networks by attending meetings, volunteering or joining relevant associations related to your areas of interest.
- Current students can book a careers guidance appointment on Student Hub.
Do your research
Deciding on a career is an important decision. Make sure you do your homework.
- Research occupations:
- What experience and education is required?
- What are salaries at entry level and with more experience?
- What are the skills needed?
- What is the potential growth in the career field or industry?
- What are the future trends?
- What are the common application procedures?
- What are the job titles that those in relevant occupations hold?
- Is it what you want to do?
- Research industries
- Look beyond the duties, skills or company to the industry behind it.
- Look for jobs that might fit under several industry banners, some of which you may be better suited to than others. For example, a marketing graduate may seek work within a marketing company (marketing services industry) or may seek employment in a marketing role but within the sports industry, manufacturing industry or tourism industry.