A recent exchange on Twitter took me back to my student days as I reflected on what inspired me to pursue my career. A thought provoking guest lecture by a BBC World Service journalist made me realise that empowering others to overcome barriers and achieve their potential was definitely the direction for me.
There are lots of different ways to find your career inspiration, but if you’re feeling confused about your future options after university, my top 5 sources, known as the WISER way, should give you some food for thought:
WORK EXPERIENCE – internships, volunteering or freelancing are the best way to learn about different jobs and sectors and can clarify your career goals. But the one thing I often say is make the most of the experience; wherever possible, go above and beyond your job and get involved in different activities and projects. Not only can you gain new skills and experiences, you could end up exploring different roles and find your inspiration there.
INDUSTRY EXPERTS – guest lectures, networking events, careers fairs and mentoring programmes are an opportunity to interact with industry experts, business leaders and top professionals. Speaking to people about their own career journey and success can be a real confidence booster and guide you to a fufilling career.
SOCIAL MEDIA – there is no getting away from social media; it has truly changed the way we communicate and learn. Careers and work remain a constant feature of the major social media platforms. Last month alone, there were more than 7 million Tweets about jobs. So if you don’t use social media for career purposes or have a LinkedIn account, then now is the time to start because you might be missing out on some valuable information and advice.
EDUCATION – some degrees naturally lead to a particular profession, but what to do if your course doesn’t have a defined career path? If you feel passionate about a particular subject area or module you’re learning about, then think about how you might utilise this knowledge in a future career, and what options are available. Is your course helping you to develop particular skills, and more importantly are you enjoying using these skills? Perhaps this could lead to a career you can excel in?
RESOURCES – as well as social media, there are plenty of other resources you can tap into. You can speak to a careers adviser, and also check out different websites and publications. To find out more about your strengths, values and interests and what sort of careers might suit you, then try out the range of career planning and self – awareness tools. Websites such as Prospects, TARGETjobs, National Careers Service, iCould, The Employability Hub and Guardian Careers are all packed full of useful and inspiring information and ideas.
Do you have any suggestions for finding your dream career? Would love to hear your thoughts!