Tag Archives: career planning

Why take a Careers module? My experience with ‘Career Planning for POLIS Students’

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This blog post was written by POLIS student Sam Greet about his experience on the module Career Planning for POLIS Students.

When I was looking at my module choices for second semester, I wasn’t sure I had made the right choices back in September. My first lecture for one of my choices really didn’t suit me and I knew I had to think of something else to move onto, but amongst the array of discovery and optional modules I really struggled to narrow down exactly onto something I wanted to do.

Finding the right module

A module that I had originally glanced over (but not given much thought to) was the Career Planning for POLIS Students module. When it was getting closer to deadline for changing modules, I still had yet to find anything that really spoke to me from the traditional module list and I revisited the careers module in more depth. What I found was a comprehensive programme of teaching, with extended seminar sessions and no lectures that looked to develop all manner of skills and employability. However, I remained unsure about what this would really amount to in practice.

I’ll admit that I was at first concerned with academic rigour, as I very much enjoyed traditional subjects and essays, and was performing well with these. I decided to seek out lecturers and staff members to discuss the POLIS Careers module, and I was immediately reassured of the module’s immense value. Ultimately this convinced me to take the plunge and switch – and I can say that this was one of the best decisions I have made in my second semester.

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Class of 2018: Can you really plan your career?

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This piece was written for Class of 2018 Month by Lisa Carr, a Careers Consultant at the University of Leeds Careers Centre.

We are taught from an early age that successful careers are the result of planning. Parents and teachers ask us what we want to be when we grow up. Employers ask us about our 10 year career ambitions in interviews.

Yet in this fast-changing age of the gig economy, portfolio careers, and an increasingly AI-driven and globalised world, how realistic is it for anyone to really plan their career?

Should you even try?

The answer is yes – and no.

The traditional approach to career planning is analyse-and-implement. You work out your motivations and interests (using something like prospects planner), find out which jobs match, and then apply to an advertised vacancy. This approach still works well if you like planning ahead, want to commit to a long term career path and are applying for sectors which recruit well in advance, such as banking, teaching or law.

But not everyone wants to commit to a long-term career path. Often, you don’t know what you like doing until you are actually doing it anyway. In real life, most people’s careers unfold rather than being actively planned.

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Is My Career Goal Realistic?

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What?” – Veronique Debord-Lazaro

This week, Beth from Inspiring Interns talks about career goals and gives some tips on how to follow through and achieve them.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Children, when asked this question, let their imagination run riot. They want to be an astronaut, a pop star, a mermaid. By the time they’ve grown into undergraduates, they’ve often switched careers but become no less ambitious. Now, they want to be a journalist, a CEO, a TV presenter.

But while small children are encouraged in their dreams, students are often told to take a reality-check. They’re told the industry they’ve chosen is too competitive, the chance of landing their dream job too slim. They’re told they’re aiming too high or over-inflating their talents – ultimately, that their career goals are unrealistic and need to be adapted to an increasingly competitive job market.

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Career planning; change, chance and chaos

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Image licensed under CC0 1.0

Concerned about career planning? This post gives you a different perspective on the traditional concept of career ‘planning’ and some tips on how to approach this in a world which can be random and unexpected.

At this time of year many of our thoughts turn to the coming year: What we might try to achieve or change in our lives. It is for many, a time for goal-setting and thinking about where they want to be. It is also a time when many people’s thoughts turn to their careers.

I have never particularly subscribed to the view that a career can be planned per se: Life is too random and there are far too many variables involved to make the construction and implementation of a rigid plan feasible.  As such, I have always been drawn to theories of career development which acknowledge the impact of outside influences, unexpected or chance events and encounters on our careers.  Theories such as Planned Happenstance (Mitchell, Levin & Krumboltz, 1999) and more recently, the Chaos Theory of Careers (Pryor & Bright, 2003) particularly resonate with me. You can find out more about Planned Happenstance and how to use this here and more about the Chaos Theory in this video or in the journal articles referenced at the end of this blog. Continue reading

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Get the most out of the Graduate Jobs & Internships Fair – Monday 12th October 2015

10658832_708737519209912_4148676610700908724_oOur Autumn Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair takes place on Monday 12th October from 11am-3pm at The Edge.  There are over 120 organisations attending from a whole range of sectors. This is a fantastic opportunity for students, at all levels, to find out about opportunities with these organisations and to make a good first impression.  This post provides tips and advice to help you get the most out of it.

Who should attend? 

Everyone! Whether you are in your first, middle, or final year and whether you are looking for a first-year insight opportunity, placement, internship or graduate job, there will be organisations there with opportunities for you.

What to expect

Attending a large recruitment fair, particularly for the first time, can be daunting.  Remember that all the organisations are there because they want to meet Leeds students, so try to relax and take advantage of the opportunity to speak to recruiters and those who are doing the job at the moment.  The video below (taken from our Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair last summer) provides a great overview of what to expect, as well as comments from recruiters, students and graduates on why they found it useful.

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Careers in the digital industry: Not just about the tech

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Think digital careers are just for ‘techy’ people? Think again. Digital now impacts on every area of life and is creating lots of opportunities in various roles across all sectors. This post is a summary of a careers event run by Amy & Lauren from Bubble Jobs at the University of Leeds in April 2015.

What is the digital industry?

The industries that spring to mind when you think about digital are probably ones such as media, technology, digital marketing, and so on.  However, as digital technologies now pervade every area of life, so digital jobs can be found across all industries and sectors.

What are the key job roles?

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How To Use Social Media For Job Hunting

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Welcome to the follow up post from Cat Smith, here she gives some tips on how to make the most of social media to help with your job search.

How to use social media for job hunting

As part of my placement year, I managed the social media accounts for RateMyPlacement.co.uk a site dedicated to finding and promoting the best placement and internship schemes out there. As a long time lover of Twitter and all things social I want to share with you some of my top tips on how to put the undisputed tools of the procrastination trade to good use. #Awesome!

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