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Whether you’re a first or final year student, it’s never too early to consider your post-uni career options and develop a plan to make that incredible career take off. A good career plan will help you determine short and long-term goals by identifying which extracurricular classes and activities you may need to take up to make you a strong, viable candidate.

Self Reflection

When you’re deep in study and bogged down with assignments, it can be easy to neglect reflecting on what you want to achieve long term. It’s important to take the time to consider your current situation and the path you want to be on.

Getting to understand your own drive and needs will help you create a plan that suits not only your career goals, but also your lifestyle.

Setting Goals

Your self reflection has helped you discover what career you want, now you need to work out how to get there. It’s crucial to set goals as part of your plan, but how do you know what goals to set, and how attainable or realistic they are?

SMART goal setting provides structure to your goals and objectives. These will ensure that your goals are:

To make the best of these goals, work with a friend and help each other develop your individual goals. Having support and encouragement is an excellent way to motivate and remind each other of the path you want to be on.

Make a Plan

Now that you have set your goal, the next step is to put a plan of action together to make it all happen.

Even though you may not have buckets of experience yet, it’s still good practice to keep an up to date CV. As time goes on, add new experiences, new skills, and don’t forget about those transferable skills from other academic and non-academic areas. When the time comes to start applying for job, you’ve already got the backbone of your CV written.

Life would be much simpler if everything went to plan all the time, but this is not always the case. Building yourself a safety net in the form of a back up plan is a sensible idea. Do also consider what you can do if you don’t hit some of your goals, even if just a temporary retreat to regroup and rethink your career goals.

Always go back and reflect on your path and yourself. As time goes on, you will change, and so will your needs. Don’t forget that the world is also changing, so take into account how your desired career might also change with it. Research your career, and the opportunities it will open up to you, as well as the advancements and developments in that industry.

Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and to take risks when necessary. Take on extra training, courses and educate yourself to fill in any gaps you see in your skillset that could give you the edge when you’re approaching employers.

Be Confident

It can be daunting to consider what you plan to do after you graduate, but simple steps  as mapped out above can help you find that perfect career, and help you step out of university,  confident that you’re prepared for a successful and productive career.