Do you know yourself?

If you’re looking for career direction inspiration and coming up blank, it could be that you just need to get to know yourself better. Human beings are complex creatures with a variety of influencing factors and criteria that impact the work we choose to do day to day. If you don’t know what your values, skills, and priorities are right now, how can you make an informed decision about what you want to do next?

It’s for this reason that the Career Centre website includes Knowing yourself tools. All the tools are free to use and they are designed to help you begin thinking about what it is that makes you tick, and what your needs are for your career development journey.

Please note that we said: begin thinking! Using a set of tools alone is not enough to fully understand the direction you want to take. It is merely a framework to begin your personalised exploration of what it is you really value and want to take part in over the course of your career. Also note that people change! What you wanted at fifteen will undoubtedly be different to what you want at 25, 35, 45 and beyond. It’s worth regularly checking in with yourself as you progress throughout your career.

If you’ve worked through our career development tools and want to talk to someone about your results and what you could do next, you can contact us. Our senior career development officers can give you impartial, Western Australian-specific advice at any age and any stage of your career.

I’ve graduated from tertiary study, now what?

Congratulations! You are a new graduate. You have invested much time, energy and money into your study. It’s time to show off your new credentials and make sure your personal and financial investment pays off.  Outlined below are suggested key activities that will help you to focus your energy and take charge of your next steps towards finding a job.

Keep the big picture in mind: use the planning, analytical and organising skills you have developed while studying to strategise and manage your career from the outset. It is not just about resumes and interviews. Make it about where and how you direct your energy and focus on both short and long term goals. Create your own job search criteria and work out where you are prepared to compromise in the short term. Know that your bargaining power will increase over time as you build your assets and experience.jan 2018 - after graduation post

Do a self-assessment
Self-assessment is the key to strategic job search and positive career decisions.   Who are you? What are your skills and how do they match with the jobs you are interested in? Your values are important too. What sort of environment do you want to work in? Do you want to work in a team, or autonomously? Do you need to be challenged? Or is flexibility your biggest priority? Assess who you are and what you have to offer and ensure you are applying for the jobs that suit your skills, interests and values.

What do you have to offer?
Understanding what employers want and what you can do for them will increase your competitiveness. For example: congratulations again, you gained an interview! This means the employer is interested in investing in you and your assets. You turn up to the interview and say you are happy to learn and willing to do anything. Your competitor (who has completed her own skills assessment) says she is focused on building specific skills that align with the advertised position. She provides examples of how she has used other skills which match the position.  Who would you employ?   Take the time to work out your individual offer.

Where are the jobs?
Once you have done your self-assessment, research where the jobs are and again, focus your job search.  It is better to put all your energy into suitable and relevant occupations and get an interview than apply for every position that vaguely fits your job search criteria. You can waste a lot of physical and emotional energy this way.

Be open to entry level positions
There is no such thing as the ‘one and only’ or ‘the right’ job.  You will change jobs, occupations and careers numerous times throughout your working life. You need focus and you also need to stay open to entry level jobs so that you can get your foot in the door.  Find out about entry level positions in your field; reflect on your assets and where you are prepared to compromise in the short term.

Treat your job search like a job. 

  • Download the Job search guide for resume, job application and interview information, tips and hints.
  • Work out a job search plan. Treat your job search like a job. Set goals and make sure you achieve tasks each and every day, within a given time frame. Also make sure you take time out to recharge your batteries. Job search takes energy, focus, determination and stamina.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for advice and support from friends and family. You can also contact your local free career service on 13 64 64.