Effective career planning involves a cycle of steps, beginning with you - what you want from a job and what you have to offer. It involves exploring job and graduate study options, and making and implementing your decisions. You should begin to plan early, ideally well before your final year.
Step 1 - Self Assessment
The start of career planning is always "self assessment". This is your opportunity to assess your skills, interests, values and personality type and thus determine what types of jobs might suit you. There are some excellent online resources:
- GradIreland Careers Report - The gradireland Careers Report will reveal your strengths and skills, pinpoint graduate jobs and careers that suit you, and set you on a positive plan of action.
- Prospects Planner - Find out what job would suit you.
- Careers Portal - Complete the Careers Portal Interests Profiler based on Hollands Theory of Career Interests.
Step 2 - Research your options
Now that you've established your skills, interests, values etc. and how they relate to your job preferences it's time to explore the various careers open to you whether this be job search, further study or taking some time out.
- A-Z Occupation Explorer - Careers Portal offers details of many typical occupations
- Prospects - find jobs, courses, advice and information on specific subjects and areas of interest.
- GradIreland - find immediate job vacancies and employer employers profiles for Irelands leading graduate employers
- PostgradIreland - explore postgradute study options
- Qualifax - need to change course or find a new one? Searchable database of all Irish further and higher education programmes
- What do LIT Graduates Do? - Every year the Careers Service conducts the First Destinations Survey of graduates of the Insitute to determine their employment or further study situation approximate 9 months after graduating. Discover where graduates of LIT programmes go when they finish
Step 3 - Making Decisions
The next stage, having self completed the self-assessment and explored your options it's now time to make some choices.
Ask yourself the following questions in order to help you make your choice:
- Which career option is most attractive to me?
- What does the work involve?
- What qualifications are required?
- Do I have the appropriate set of skills?
- Are there job opportunities in this area?
- What are the promotional prospects?
- If jobs are limited in this area, what are the related areas?
Based on your answers to these questions, and knowledge of your profile, you should now be able to draw up a short-list of your career options.
The next thing you need to consider is how you make decisions. If you have successfully made similar decisions in the past, the method you used then may apply to your present decision-making, too. Here are some useful resources on decision making:
Step 4 - Implementing your Decisions
If you have decided on your preferred career options, you need to start planning and implementing a course of action to convert your choice into reality. Create and action plan with short, medium and long term goals.
Your plan may include tasks such as compiling a CV, completing application forms, preparing cover letters, preparing for interviews and keeping records of applications. Check out "Effective CV's, Cover Letters & Applications" for more information. Also, go through the Applications and CVs sections of Destinations®.
Finally remember you are never alone. You can always contact the Careers Service for advice at any stage of your career planning process.