Information and resources to help you make a confident career decision
Students in university today are likely to change careers six to eight times over the course of their working lives. Do you know how to plan for this? You don’t need to do this alone; we can help.
Explore the SOAR model to help plan for your career and make an appointment to discuss your options with one of our Career Development Consultants. We also have information to help you tap into the entrepreneurial mindset, as well as career resources for HDR students.
You can follow the steps for each section of the SOAR model below.
To develop self-awareness, it is important to look at aspects of yourself such as your interests, values, skills and personality traits. A range of self-assessment tools and activities can be drawn upon to help you explore your preferences, strengths, and abilities.
Self-awareness is important as it:
- assists with finding a career that matches your interests, values skills, and personality
- helps you to understand and articulate your personal strengths and skills in order to promote yourself in the labour market
- facilitates the identification of “skill gaps” and therefore what areas may need further development
- contributes to your self-confidence and positive self-image.
Resources and self-assessment tools to support development of self-awareness:
A resource to help decide what's most important in life.
An assessment tool.
A scientific survey tool on character strengths.
CareerQuest recommends jobs based on your interests.
The Job Outlook Career Quiz will help you to understand your work style and to explore careers you might enjoy.
A resource that describes the different personality types which tend to have distinct preferences in their choice of careers.
This free test will identify your strongest career interest among six occupational themes: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.
Opportunity awareness is about researching and understanding your career options.
As you’ll see from most job descriptions, employers are not only looking for a degree. Instead, they ask for a range of skills and experience that help them to be sure you will fit into their team.
Now that you have completed the self-awareness activities, the next step is to learn what skills, knowledge, and experiences are valued in your chosen industry and what opportunities exist for you to develop these prior to graduation.
Opportunity awareness is important because it:
- improves understanding of career options available from your degree
- clarifies what skills, knowledge and capabilities are necessary for success in your chosen field
- assists you in the transition from university to the world of work
- allows you to discover new opportunities to develop skills that will make you more employable
- helps develop understanding of the work environments where you will “fit” best
- increases awareness of the supports available to help you achieve your career goals.
Now that you have developed your career self-awareness and considered the various opportunities available upon graduation, we can now look towards making realistic employment-focused goals based on this information.
Why developing your aspirations is important
- It’s important to understand what factors will help you achieve your goals.
- Having a range of career options will assist you to adapt to changing opportunities.
- You will benefit from progressing towards practical career goals, with measurable outcomes.
Ideas for exploring your aspirations
- Discover the skills you possess now and identify what skills you may need to develop, using this Employability Skills Audit Tool. You may also wish to review the skills you may need to develop, using the Griffith Graduate Attributes and Transferable Skills.
- Identity your transferable skills. Download our guide to help identify how your transferable skills can improve your job prospects.
- Discuss your career aspirations with a Lecturer, Mentor, or Career Development Consultant.
- Identify possible alternatives based on awareness of self and opportunities.
- Research your alternatives with informational interviews in order to clarify your occupational preferences.
- Set realistic goals with clear time frames and critical deadlines.
- Regularly check your progress towards your career goals.
- Download our guide on career exploration and decision making.
People make decisions in many ways depending on:
- the importance of the decision
- available resources
- previous decision-making processes.
There's no right way to make a decision, so find what works for you. Decision-making often occurs across a continuum of Logical/Rational through to Intuitive/Emotive as detailed in the career decision-making resource below. Both can be positive ways to make important decisions.
Action planning naturally follows on from deliberate and thoughtful consideration of your goals and aspirations. Setting goals and developing an action plan that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed (SMART) can help you achieve success.
The following five actions are likely to significantly improve your graduate employment outcomes upon graduation. Each of these can easily be included into your action plan:
Clarify your career
- Clarify your career direction based on your awareness of self and opportunities and in discussion with a mentor, Career Development Consultant, or academic.
Record your skills
- Set up a LinkedIn profile.
- Create an e-portfolio to present your skills.
- Keep a record of the projects and assessments you have undertaken at university.
- Develop your resume.
- Current job: Consider the skills required for your current job and how these may fit with your chosen profession.
- Finding work: Have you considered getting a part-time or casual job? Explore CareerHub for opportunities.
- Volunteering: Volunteer work can provide you with a range of important skills and experiences linked with employment success. A range of opportunities are available on campus and through external organisations www.volunteeringqld.org.au or www.govolunteer.com.au
- Work experience: Undertaking work experience is a valuable way to develop skills and gain industry relevant experience.
- Placement and internships: Investigate and enrol in internships throughout your degree. The Community Internship 3002LFC is a free-choice elective for credit.
Build networks in your field
- Use your LinkedIn profile to connect with industry, professional associations and contribute to industry relevant groups.
- Join a professional association and attend networking events.
- Get to know people while on placement, internship or work experience.
- Complete an informational interview in order to expand your network.
- Consider joining the Griffith Industry Mentoring Program.
Get involved in your profession and community
- Attend employer or industry presentations on campus.
- Join relevant student associations.
- Attend professional association activities such as conferences.
What are you doing today to grow your career for tomorrow? Are you thinking about your career like an entrepreneur and are you looking for the opportunities available? If you are unclear on how to find the opportunities, unsure how to act, or just wondering if you are on the right track, we can help.
Career resources for HDR students
Completing a PhD is like running a marathon. It is not surprising that HDR students are often so focused on the finish line that they don’t allow time to think about what comes after graduation. We have a range of resources, including career planning and job search sites, that aim to bring some clarity.
Find an industry mentor
Develop your career aspirations and engage with an industry professional