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What Career

career centre
Finding the right career can be hugely rewarding, so it’s worth putting some effort into career planning. Start by thinking about what motivates you as a person, then identify careers that match your skills and interests.
While it can be tempting to skip straight to looking at specific careers, it’s often a good idea to first spend some time thinking about what motivates you as a person.

What are your interests, inside and outside work - and what are you looking for from a career? Once you’ve worked this out, you can start building up a picture of your ideal job - then find out which careers match it most closely.
Unless you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to do, it can be difficult to know where to start. And if you do have a career in mind, how do you know whether you’ve considered all your options?

As a starting point, you could try sitting down with a piece of paper and listing:
  • courses you’ve taken in the past, or are taking now
  • any jobs you’ve had, including voluntary work
  • interests outside work
  • any other significant experiences, like travelling
Then ask yourself:
  • why you chose to do them
  • which parts you really enjoyed
  • which parts you found frustrating or boring
  • which parts you were best at
  • which parts you found a challenge
  • what other people have said about your contribution
  • what other people have told you you’re good at
You should start to see some patterns emerging: the types of skills you enjoy using, the sort of environment you perform best in and the types of people you like working with. You can use this knowledge to help pinpoint areas of work you might enjoy. There are also tools available to help identify your skills and abilities. Some are listed on the Support4Learning website.
Once you’ve got an idea of areas you might want to work in, the next step is to check out some career profiles. These will give you information about the opportunities available in a particular line of work - and what skills and qualifications you’re likely to need.

You can also get information about careers in particular industries from Sector Skills Councils. Find the council for the industry you’re interested in through the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils.