Opportunity Awareness

Exploring options

If you don’t know what your options are, a great step is to familiarise with the different jobs, occupations and sectors to see what they involve and whether they interest you. You might also take inspiration from what other graduates from your degree go on to do.  You might not suddenly reveal the name of your perfect job, but you will start to build up a real picture of what you want from a career, and what might be available. You can also judge where you're prepared to compromise. This can give you more confidence that a job might be a good match for you. It can also avoid you getting lured into a great sounding career which is unsuited to what you really want out of life. 

Research Careers

Expand your knowledge of occupations using trusted sources of online careers information. Start with "Options with your subject" for more ideas, this has links to many more websites you can trust as they are reviewed by advisers before being included.

Prospects website is a trusted source of information about hundreds of occupations, which is aimed at undergraduates and is used by Careers and Employability staff. It has over 500 career profiles with information on what these jobs involve, case studies of other graduates, what skills you need and how to get in.  The 'What can I do with my degree?' section  provides information on jobs where your degree would be either essential, or useful. 

Find out what other graduates do

Look at 'What do Graduates do' to find out more about what others have done after graduation, This includes national statistics and more detailed information about what Sheffield Hallam graduates have gone on to do. 

Over 60% of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any degree subject, so you don’t have to be limited by what you studied. Employers are aware that graduates who studied different subjects bring slightly different skills and approaches. As long as you can show the right skills and a clear motivation for working in a particular job, there’s no reason you can’t apply. 

Consider the job market

Assessing the current and future job market will help you identify where you can use your skills and experience. Knowing what areas are growing will give you some idea of what skills will be needed. Make sure you have the right mix of skills to stay employable should you want or need to change career direction. You will have invested a lot of time and money getting your degree, so it pays to see where it can take you.  Think about what sectors are growing or declining, and what skills and job roles these areas need - Job Market Trends is a useful starting point.

Think about further study

Some students go on to further study to pursue their passion for the subject or specialise in their field of knowledge, prior to pursuing a career. A postgraduate qualification can be a requirement for certain occupations. Find more information about options and funding in our postgraduate study section. 

Talk to people

Talk to employers and recent graduates by attending talks and workshops on campus, delivered by employers, alumni and professionals. These usually take place in autumn and spring and are a great way to discover more than you would just from searching the internet. They can answer your questions about their areas of work which can help you decide if it’s for you. Find these events in careerhub and also look out for departmental and faculty specific careers talks and events. 

Ask friends, family and people you know. These people can help in several ways: 

  • Ask them for feedback - they may have suggestions of careers they think might suit you. 
  • They may also point out things they think you're good at, which could help you narrow down your options. 
  • They can tell you about jobs they are familiar with, particularly about their own careers if they are in work. 
  • They may also know about the work of colleagues or other friends. 
  • Even if they can't give you a job, they may know who to write to, which agencies or websites to use to find adverts, or other inside information about a type of work or industry. 

Get some work experience 

Whether it’s a day of work shadowing or something more substantial (an internship or placement), work experience is a great way to test drive your ideas. It can also help you make contacts that could help you get a full time job. You might need to be proactive to uncover work shadowing or opportunities in very competitive areas. Research shows that most successful graduates do some of these things which help build their CV, their skills, their knowledge and contacts. 

Next Step: Decision Making - putting together what you know about yourself and the available opportunities

Last modified: 
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 16:00