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Discover tailored career guidance for graduates, helping you navigate the transition from education to your first professional role.

Discover essential career planning tips for UK graduates to navigate the job market and achieve career goals with expert advice and practical strategies.

Essential Career Tips for UK Graduates

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Importance of Career Planning After Graduation

Graduating is an exhilarating milestone, but it also signals the start of a challenging yet rewarding journey into the professional world. Proper career planning at this juncture can fundamentally shape your path, helping you navigate the myriad of post-graduation opportunities and obstacles.

UK graduates often face the daunting task of mapping out their careers in a highly competitive market. It’s crucial to proactively plan your career, set tangible goals, and understand the steps necessary to achieve them.

Career Analysts and Our Expertise

This is where Career Analysts come into play. We are professionals who specialise in helping graduates identify their career paths and achieve their career goals. We provide indispensable insights by conducting research and analyses, performing interviews, and conducting skills assessments.

Proper career planning after graduation isn’t simply about securing a job; it’s about building a fulfilling and sustainable career. With the guidance of skilled career analysts, graduates can better navigate the complexities of the job market, make informed decisions, and set achievable career goals.

Discover essential career planning tips for UK graduates to navigate the job market and achieve career goals with expert advice and practical strategies.

Self-Assessment and Career Guidance

Importance of Psychometric Tests in Career Decision-Making

Understanding one’s strengths, weaknesses, and behavioural traits is vital in determining the right career path. Psychometric tests can play an essential role in this self-assessment process. These tests measure a variety of attributes including personality type, behavioural traits, and cognitive abilities through structured questionnaires. They enable individuals to obtain an unbiased report highlighting their aptitudes, which significantly aids in making informed career choices.

A well-conducted psychometric test can reveal aspects of a person’s psyche that might otherwise remain unexplored, providing valuable insights into how one might fit into various career paths. They help individuals correlate their interests with job roles that resonate with their intrinsic motivations and talents.

Benefits of Consulting Professional Career Advisors

Professional career advisors bring expertise and an objective perspective to the career planning process. They specialise in various fields such as strategy, human resources, and operations, making them well-equipped to provide tailored advice. Career advisors can assist in creating effective CVs, preparing for interviews, and negotiating job offers.

Moreover, they can offer valuable networking tips and guidance on leveraging connections, which can be crucial for career advancement. Consulting with an advisor not only helps in overcoming specific career challenges but also provides a comprehensive support system throughout your job search and early career stages.

Understanding Personal Values, Interests, Skills, and Strengths

A critical component of career guidance for graduates is understanding one’s own values, interests, skills, and strengths. Values dictate what is important to you in a career, while interests reflect the activities you enjoy and the work environments in which you flourish. Skills are the abilities you have developed and honed over time, and strengths are the areas where you naturally excel.

By clearly defining these elements, one can better align career choices with personal attributes, leading to higher job satisfaction and career fulfilment. Career values, such as the desire for stability or the need to satisfy intellectual or ethical needs, significantly impact motivation and engagement in your professional life.

Engaging in self-assessment exercises regularly is beneficial as values, interests, and skills can evolve over time. Tools like journaling career-related ideas, exploring online profiles, and seeking feedback from friends and family can be instrumental. Additionally, recognising transferable skills gained through varied experiences helps in considering a broader range of career possibilities, thus enhancing career prospects.

Learn how to enhance your career prospects with self-assessment, internships, networking, and tailored applications. Expert tips for UK graduates.

Gaining Experience

Value of Internships and Work Placements

Internships and work placements are invaluable stepping stones for UK graduates. They offer a glimpse into the professional world and help identify career preferences by experiencing different roles and environments. A placement year enhances CVs with hands-on experience, making graduates more attractive to employers. Research also indicates that graduates with internships are employed quicker and tend to earn more.

Strategies for Making the Most of Internship Opportunities

It is essential to gain the most from these opportunities, ensuring they are more than just a line on your CV. Here are some practical strategies:

  • Set Clear Goals: Determine what you want to achieve and learn during your internship. Setting specific, measurable objectives helps focus your efforts.
  • Engage Actively: Immerse yourself in all tasks, no matter how small. Proactive involvement can lead to more significant projects and responsibilities.
  • Seek Feedback: Regularly ask for feedback from supervisors to improve your performance and learn from your experiences.
  • Network: Build relationships with colleagues to expand your professional network, which could be beneficial for future job searches.
  • Make Note of Achievements: Document your tasks, contributions, and any positive outcomes. This record will be invaluable when updating your CV or preparing for interviews.

These tips ensure that you maximise your internship experience.

Balancing Unpaid Work with Career Progression

While unpaid internships can be a reality for many, balancing them with career progression requires strategic planning.

  • Choose Wisely: Select unpaid internships that offer considerable learning opportunities or industry connections.
  • Time Management: Efficiently managing time between unpaid work, job applications, and skill development is crucial.
  • Supplement with Part-Time Work: Consider part-time jobs to ensure financial stability while pursuing unpaid opportunities.
  • Leverage Experience: Use the skills and experiences gained in unpaid internships to boost your CV and cover letters for paid roles.
  • Seek Support: Utilise university career services or networks for advice and opportunities that align with your career goals.

Internships and work placements play a pivotal role in shaping career paths. With well thought out strategies, they can be effectively leveraged even when unpaid, ensuring long-term career progression and satisfaction.

Boost your employability with effective career planning. Explore strategies for internships, networking, and crafting a compelling CV. Career advice for UK graduates.

Networking and Building Connections

The Power of Networking in Your Job Search

Networking plays a crucial role in job searches and career development. Building relationships with professionals in your field can provide inside information on job openings, advice on career paths, and even direct leads to job offers.

It’s essential as many employers prefer conducting business with people they know and like, rather than anonymous CVs. Networking effectively places you in a smaller pool of candidates, reducing the intense competition faced when applying through job listings alone.

Leveraging Social Media for Professional Networking

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter(X) and Facebook are invaluable tools for professional networking. To stand out, clear up your social media presence and ensure it’s professional.

Connect and engage with industry leaders, join relevant groups, and actively participate in discussions. Highlight your skills and research the latest industry trends. Engaging with content related to your field and using relevant hashtags can also amplify your professional visibility.

Tips for Effective Networking

Networking is a skill that requires strategy and practice. Here are some pointers to help you get started:

1. Build Genuine Connections

Focus on establishing rapport with others. Show genuine interest in people and their work. This sincerity often leads to stronger, more lasting professional relationships.

2. Listen Actively

Listening is just as important as speaking. Take interest in what others are saying and respond thoughtfully. This not only builds rapport but also makes you memorable.

3. Offer Value

Networking is about mutual benefit. Approaching interactions with a mindset of how you can assist others can foster goodwill. Introduce contacts to each other, share useful resources, or simply offer a helping hand.

4. Follow Up

After meetings or networking events, follow up with your new contacts. A brief email or a connection request on LinkedIn, referencing your conversation, keeps the connection alive.

5. Stay Persistent

Building a network takes time. Don’t get disheartened by initial setbacks or lack of responses. Continue reaching out and nurturing your professional relationships over time.

Networking is more than a one-time event; it’s an ongoing process. With these strategies, graduates can effectively build relationships that open doors to new opportunities and career growth.

Discover essential career planning tips for UK graduates to navigate the job market and achieve career goals with expert advice and practical strategies.

Job Search Strategies

Tailoring Applications to Specific Roles and Companies

Tailoring your applications to specific roles and companies can dramatically improve your chances of landing a job. Start by thoroughly reading the job description and identifying the critical keywords and responsibilities mentioned. Read the job description carefully. Highlight your skills and experiences that align with these requirements.

  • Keywords and Phrasing: Incorporate the keywords and phrases used in the job description into your CV and cover letter.
  • Relevant Experience First: Arrange your CV so your most relevant experiences appear first, emphasising skills and achievements pertinent to the job.
  • Company Research: Learn about the company’s culture and mission to better tailor your application and demonstrate how your values and career goals align with theirs.

Utilising Various Job Search Methods and Platforms

A diversified job search strategy is crucial. It’s essential to leverage multiple platforms and methods to maximise your opportunities.

Top UK Job Boards

Consider using leading job boards. These platforms offer vast databases of job listings and can cater to various industries and roles.


Networking remains one of the most effective job search methods. Regularly attending industry events and career fairs can provide valuable contacts and job leads. As research shows, networking can often lead to more job opportunities compared to traditional methods.

Social Media

Utilise social media platforms like Linkedln, Twitter and Facebook for job searching. Make sure your Linkedln profile is up-to-date with a professional photo and a comprehensive work history. Engaging in industry-related content and joining relevant Linkedln groups can also open up additional job opportunities.

Importance of Proactive Outreach to Potential Employers

Engaging in proactive outreach is all about taking the initiative rather than waiting for job openings to come to you.

Proactive Recruitment Strategies

The benefits of proactive outreach strategies are significant. You engage potential employers before they even post vacancies, reducing time-to-hire and increasing the chances of finding a perfect job match.

Build a Talent Pool

Having a network of contacts in your desired industry can give you an edge. Attend industry-specific events and build relationships through regular engagement. Sometimes the right opportunity is hidden in your network, waiting to be discovered.

Personalise Outreach

When reaching out to potential employers, personalise your communication. Highlight why you are interested in their company and how your background and skills make you an ideal fit. This shows initiative and can make a strong impression on hiring managers.

By integrating these strategies into your job search, you’ll not only broaden your search but also increase your chances of finding a job that aligns with your career goals. Remember, persistence and adaptability are key.

Discover essential career planning tips for UK graduates to navigate the job market and achieve career goals with expert advice and practical strategies.

CV and Skills Optimisation

Crafting a Compelling CV that Highlights Key Skills and Achievements

Your CV is essentially your marketing document. It’s your chance to introduce yourself to potential employers and make a memorable impression. First things first, ensure your personal details, such as your name, email, and phone number, are at the top. Following that, craft a brief personal statement. This should summarise who you are, your career aspirations, and what you can offer.

When listing your work experience, use the reverse-chronological format. This format is emphasised because it highlights your most recent experience first, which is often the most relevant to potential employers.

Don’t forget to include a section for your education and any additional skills or qualifications. Highlight your key accomplishments and responsibilities in each role. Achievements such as meeting targets, receiving awards, or implementing successful projects can significantly boost your CV.

Identifying and Articulating Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are competencies you’ve gained in one role that can be applied to another. It’s essential to identify these skills, especially if you’re changing industries or roles. Common transferable skills include leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and communication.

To effectively convey these skills in your CV, consider what the role requires and how your experiences align with these requirements. Use specific examples to illustrate each transferable skill. For instance, you might write, “Led a team of five in a project that increased sales by 20% over six months” to demonstrate leadership and strategic thinking.

Tailoring CV Content to Match Job Requirements

Tailoring your CV to a specific job is crucial. It involves making slight adjustments to your CV to better align with the job description. For instance, if a role emphasises project management, ensure that your relevant experience in this area is prominently displayed.

Start by carefully reading the job description and noting the key skills and experiences it mentions. Then, adjust your CV to highlight your most relevant experience first, especially under each section’s key skills and achievements.

Your CV should also include:

  • Contact details
  • An introduction
  • Education history
  • Work history
  • References

Lastly, remember that your CV should be easy to read and error-free. Employers often spend just a few seconds scanning each CV, so clarity and conciseness are key.

Discover essential career planning tips for UK graduates to navigate the job market and achieve career goals with expert advice and practical strategies.

Understanding the Job Market

Realistic Expectations for Entry-Level Positions

Entering the UK job market can be daunting, especially for recent graduates. The average starting salary for graduates across all employers is typically between £24,000 and £27,000. This figure may vary based on industry and location, so it’s crucial to manage expectations realistically.

Additionally, over half of entry-level roles often require prior experience, with the average being around 2.7 years. Therefore, part-time jobs, internships, and volunteer work are invaluable during the job search.

Researching Industry Trends and In-Demand Skills

Staying informed about industry trends and in-demand skills can provide a significant edge. Key professions in demand include support workers, teaching assistants, and customer service roles.

Skills such as digital literacy, data analysis, and technical expertise in tools like Microsoft Excel are highly sought after. Regularly updating your skills in these areas will greatly enhance your employability.

Balancing Ambition with Market Realities

While it’s essential to aim high, balancing ambition with market realities is equally important. The UK employment rate stood at 75.0% from November 2023 to January 2024, with an unemployment rate of 3.9%, as reported by the.

Despite the modest unemployment rates, the market has seen a rise in insecure employment, with over 500,000 additional workers in such positions in 2023.

Graduates should remain adaptable and open to temporary or interim roles. These positions can offer valuable experience and open doors to permanent placements. Employers are increasingly seeking diverse and underrepresented candidates to build inclusive teams, which presents additional opportunities for various demographics.

By aligning your career aspirations with the evolving job market, staying informed, and continually updating your skills, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the UK job landscape.

Discover essential career planning tips for UK graduates to navigate the job market and achieve career goals with expert advice and practical strategies.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Recap of Key Career Advice for UK Graduates

As we conclude our comprehensive guide, let’s recap the essential advice we’ve covered for UK graduates starting their career journeys:

  • Start with a thorough self-assessment to understand your values, interests, skills, and strengths. This foundational knowledge will guide your career decisions.
  • Utilise psychometric tests and consult professional career advisors to gain insights into suitable career paths.
  • Secure internships and work placements to gain practical experience and enhance your employability. In these roles, be proactive in seeking feedback and networking.
  • Master the art of networking. Leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn to build professional connections and join relevant industry discussions.
  • Tailor your job applications to specific roles and companies. Use keywords, highlight relevant experiences, and research each company to tailor your approach.
  • Craft a compelling CV by emphasising key skills, achievements, and transferable skills. Ensure it aligns with the job requirements.
  • Understand the job market realities, including average starting salaries and in-demand skills. Balance your ambition with the current job market dynamics.

Seek Further Guidance from Career Analysts

It’s clear that navigating the post-graduation career landscape can be challenging. However, professional guidance can make a significant difference.

Career Analysts specialise in providing comprehensive career advice tailored to your personal profile. Our expertise can help you make informed decisions, set realistic career goals, and create actionable plans. Don’t hesitate to seek our assistance to gain a competitive edge in your job search.

Is University Right for Me? Things to consider with Career Analysts

Is University Right For Me? Things To Consider

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It’s that time of year when university starts to feel like it’s fast-approaching. You’ve likely been told to start thinking about your university application but might still be unsure whether or not it’s for you. That’s understandable; university is a big leap from sixth form or college and the varied UCAS application deadlines are probably putting pressure on you to make a decision early.

The ongoing debate of whether university helps you land your dream job is still very much spoken about. Many have the opinion that university just leaves you in massive debt without much real-world experience when you could have started a job within a company and already worked your way up to a higher position. The decision lies with the individual, nonetheless let’s remember that a degree has many benefits and now many jobs require you to have one. Students that flourish at university are quite often those who know exactly what career they want to do and therefore know the exact course they need to take. The ambition is there as they want to achieve and be qualified for their dream job, many even go onto postgraduate study their undergraduate degree, so they may further develop their skills and be the best they can academically be. For some, this is the path they know they want to take. They find essay writing or exams straightforward and achieved good results in their A Levels exams. For others, those who are perhaps more hands-on, getting straight into a career after school makes more sense. This is how they see themselves becoming successful and progressing within a company.

Read More

Is a Gap Year Right For Me

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Should I take a gap year – will it expand my career options?

A gap year separates life-changing experiences: It can come between senior school and university or after university and before starting your career. It can be a life-changing experience itself but it’s not guaranteed to be a force for good. Usually, it develops your skills and experience, thus expanding what options you have for your career.

A gap year isn’t just a vacation, it is actually a part of your education. It is not supposed to be a protracted holiday – really, it is a time to think about what career path you will aim for in the future and draw up plans for this along with the next stage of your education if relevant.

Historically, gap years between university and full-time employment were concealed and the resultant hole in your CV was doctored. These days, many businesses look on a gap year as a positive factor when hiring graduates; it is regarded as a chance to enrich your life experiences and as a positive for your career.

Nowadays, a gap year is not only the privilege of the wealthy; studies show that in recent years many more of us have taken advantage of the possibility. Considering the costs of education these days, it makes a lot of sense for each of us to fully understand what career would be the most suitable for us and what education choices would be best for us to move in that direction. Taking a gap year can be much less expensive than changing your university degree course.

If your gap year is planned well it can be a great deal more stimulating than your initial university year. For example, if you use your gap year to travel abroad you will gain really useful experience of another nations culture, and a basic knowledge of a different language. It will help you to develop your understanding of the world. It can ignite a passion in you that will eventually lead to a much more fulfilling career path.

What you do with your gap year makes a huge difference to your long-term career prospects.

What makes a good gap year?

  • Expanding your life skills
  • Clarifying what options you have for your career
  • Learning a language
  • Gaining work experience for a possible future career
  • Teaching English as a foreign language while living abroad
  • Becoming a volunteer

Advantages of a gap year

  • Your gap year can be a time to reflect; when the purpose of your education is put in the perspective of your career choice
  • It creates a more profound self-awareness that can be used in your future career path
  • Your career goals are clarified
  • New surroundings offer new challenges and dealing with them develops character
  • You become braver due to being challenged; obstacles appear less intimidating

Time To Think About Your Career

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As graduation approaches it is time to start thinking about your career

Do you really know what is the best career for you after graduation? If not, don’t worry, it’s common enough for your age, you are not the only one.

Don’t panic, but do assess the important factors you need to consider when choosing the right career. What would you enjoy? What would suit your particular personality? What career would align with your values and beliefs? What career would you be good at?

There are a wealth of career options and opportunities and they can seem overwhelming, but career decisions need to be made.

What career is right for you?

This is the biggest question facing you. Think about what you value in your career.

Is it:

  • Helping others?
  • Money
  • Following your passion
  • Life/work balance?
  • Flexibility and freedom over what you do?

Understanding what motivates you will help you assess the best career options for you.

What are your career strengths and weaknesses?

Recognising what you are good at, and equally what you not good at, is a key factor in deciding on the best career path for you. You have to be honest with yourself. If you are not sure, get independent careers advice using psychometrics to help you. Don’t bank on friends or family who don’t know the options and who may even have their own agenda in mind rather than your best interests! This is where using a professional careers advisor is an advantage. Using modern psychological tools – career profiling instruments such as career tests and speaking to a qualified and experienced career counselor – will help you to understand your skills, motivations and personality, and get a much clearer idea of what is the right career for you.

What do you really enjoy?

No-one can stand a career they don’t enjoy. You need to think about what you have enjoyed studying and the hobbies you have practiced when you were a student as well as any work, voluntary or paid, that you have done.

Where possible, find time to trial various career roles to see which you enjoy best. Getting work experience in diverse businesses can really open your eyes to the career possibilities. Perhaps you think you want a career in media for instance, but do you really understand the realities of that career path- that route may well not suit your style of work. It’s important to get a feel for the career and the industry before you commit yourself and put your career plan in place.

Build up your career CV

When you have got to the point of understanding a bit more about yourself and what career you want to do, you need to refine your self-marketing skills to make an impact at interviews. In order to gain experience, speak to people in the industry who are knowledgeable so that you can really get a feel for the specific career.

It will confirm your career path (or alternatively demonstrate to you that this is not the correct career for you before you go too far down that road!), but in any event, these experiences strengthen your CV giving you an advantage in careers you might apply for.

This also applies to activities outside your career. So, when you’re in between work and studies, utilise your time productively to show to your future employers that you have drive and personality. You should consider joining a community group, volunteering or working on a blog or website.

Good luck!

How to stay positive and manage anxiety during exam season

Parent Worried about Your Childs Exam Results

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As a parent, you are likely to be apprehensive about your child’s exam results

The imminent onset of exam results is a trying time for many families with teenage kids. The pressure on your son or daughter to achieve good results, which will give them the opportunity of getting into a good university and getting a head start in their career, can cause anxiety for both you and them! So, what can you do to relieve the pressure?

Here are our tips:

Get professional careers advice

Getting professional, objective career guidance at this stage for your teenager can be very useful. Our experienced careers advisors – who are all fully qualified Occupational Psychologists – are trained to support and help, even if your child has little or no idea of what career they would like to do.

We also understand that you may need to be involved in your teenager’s career choice, so we also offer Parent and Guardian Extension sessions

In the teenager’s session on their own, they will focus on education choices and careers advice while in the Parents and Guardians extension you can explore the results of their consultation and talk with the career counsellor about their career choice. We find this is the ideal opportunity to talk about career recommendations in a professional and objective way and it really does add value to the careers advice programme.

Keep Calm

Passions run high in teenage years and tempers can flare. You need to realise that your son or daughter can be apprehensive about their abilities and worried about what their future career will hold. Don’t fix on exactly what your child’s career will be, but think about their strengths and weaknesses, and what would be a good fit for their personality and interests. This will help them make a final choice about their further education and career path.

Talk to your son and daughter

Discuss their future with them and keep open the lines of communication.

Try to get them to consider these questions:

  • What are my career goals?
  • What career path should I follow?
  • What career would suit me?
  • What do I want to achieve in my career?
  • What career am I capable of?

Listen to their replies and try to offer objective careers advice. This can be difficult as naturally you have high hopes for your child. Most teenagers would certainly benefit from talking to a careers advisor – their neutrality frees your child to speak openly and so allows productive discussions about their career path.

If you want to find out more about our careers advice programme of career guidance for teenagers you can read more here.

Schools don’t take careers advice seriously

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Business leaders are backing an MP’s call for improved careers advice in schools. A letter written to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan by Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holdness, has been co-signed by The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), and EEF, the manufacturers’ organization.

The general feeling amongst business leaders is that current career guidance is too weak. As Martin McTague, policy director at the FSB, said: “Schools are under a lot of pressure to deliver on a wide range of fronts, so it’s not surprising careers advice has slipped down the priority list. But getting good, independent careers advice at the right time can transform a young person’s chances of finding a career they love and fulfilling their career potential. We think this change will provide the nudge schools need to up their game – ultimately leading to better long-term careers advice for young people.”

The letter calls for statutory guidance to be amended so that all schools are required, rather than only recommended, to work to obtain a quality award for careers advice, information, education and guidance that meets an approved standard determined by the Department for Education.

Stuart, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group for careers advice, guidance and information, states in his letter:

“The central problem facing careers education is that schools are not incentivised to take careers advice seriously. In our high stakes education system, school leaders will understandably prioritise those issues that will lead to serious consequences if they fail to deliver them. Careers advice does not fall into this category.

“Having made it compulsory for schools to meet an agreed careers advice quality standard, the appetite for high quality career guidance would leap among school leaders.”

Without quality careers advice and guidance in schools, young people end up on the wrong courses and either in the wrong career or not in work at all, leading to a lifetime of unhappiness and big problem for the nation’s economy.

Graduating this year?

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Do you know what to do for a career when you graduate? Don’t worry if you don’t! It’s a common feeling at this time of year, when you leave your student life and out into the career market.

It’s not a time to panic, but to assess who you are, what you enjoy, and what you want to do for your career. There are so many career opportunities and options it can very easily seem overwhelming. There are many important career decisions to be made but if you think logically about your motivations it’s easy to decide what to do for your career.

What career is right for you?

This is the biggest question you can answer, so break it down. Think about what you value in your career. Is it:

  • Helping others?
  • Money
  • Following your passion
  • Life/work balance?
  • Flexibility and freedom over what you do?

Narrowing down what motivates you to work hard will help you to evaluate the best career options for you.

What are your career strengths and weaknesses?

Knowing what you are good at, and what you are bad at, is a key factor in deciding what career is right for you. Be honest with yourself, and try and get unbiased opinions where you can. Don’t rely on family or friends who only want the best for you and may also have their own agenda for your future career! This is where using an independent careers advisor is a great advantage. Using professional tools, such as career tests or career profiling as well as speaking to an experienced, qualified career counselor, will leave you with a better sense of your personality, motivations and skills and a clear idea of what is the best career for you.

What do you enjoy?

You won’t last long in any career if you don’t enjoy what you do. Think about your hobbies and what you have enjoyed studying and doing during your time as a student or any other work, paid or voluntary, that you have undertaken.

Take time to try out different career roles to get a feel for what you like. Work experience in a few different industries can be a real eye opener. You may think you want a career in media, but the realities of that career path may not suit how you work. It’s important to get a feel of the job before you commit and get a career plan in place.

Build up your CV

Now you know a bit more about what you want to do, it’s time to hone your skills to make an impact at job interviews. Gain experience, speak to knowledgeable people in your industry and really get a feel for the career you want to enter.

Not only will it confirm your goals (or alternatively show you that it may not be the right career path for you before you go too far down that route!) but such experience bolsters your CV giving you a greater advantage in any of the career paths you might apply for.

This can also apply to activities outside of your career. When you’re in a quiet period between studies and work, use your time productively to show your future employers your drive, transferable skills and personality. Now is the time to consider some volunteering, join a community group or work on a blog or website. Good luck!

What if your child gets bad examination results

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There is huge pressure on students these days to get good GCSE and A level grades in order to give them the best chance of getting a great career in the future, but the pressure on parents can also be intense. You don’t have to sit the course personally or slog through the revision; you are spared the sitting of the mocks and exams themselves but unfortunately, you are not spared the fallout from the examination results. Even if you do not have to open the envelope when it falls on the mat you are still going to feel as sick as your child if the results are less than expected or hoped for. You need serious careers advice. You have to share the disappointment, but be objective and have the correct careers advice at your fingertips.

You may be lucky and have some prior warning; it is all too easy in an examination to fail to interpret what a question was asking. Many students do not read what the question is asking but rather what they want to answer. Your child may already realise that they have done that.

But all too often there is no warning. Assuming that your child has done the course and completed the revision he or she should have attained a pass mark. However, there are lots of reasons why they might fail. The first step is to have an honest conversation with your child as to the real reasons why they have not got the grades expected.

This conversation may actually yield surprising results: some children will fail because they have done too mush revision. Our brains can cope with a great deal of knowledge, but unfortunately it has a limited attention span when it is processing information. Sitting and studying for twelve straight hours can be counter-productive.

To have studied efficiently, it is necessary to have enough sleep and a balanced diet. Some aspects of studying can be boring and seem pointless.

If the course was too academic, it may be that there is a more vocational hands-on approach that would suit your child better.

It may be that the exam results were not good enough for their first choice for higher education, but may meet the requirements of the second choice. Refer to UCAS if you require more options for higher education. Grades simply not good enough will mean either a re-sit in January or June or a career path rethink. Remember that a re-sit will only postpone the problem if your child is not studying the right subjects in the first place. Speak to Career Analysts if your child needs help in picking the right subjects.

If there are good reasons why your son or daughter has not acquired the necessary grades at A level, why not speak directly to the university and see if they are willing to hold the place open. They may offer a conditional place for the following year (conditional upon certain education requirements being met)

A gap year can provide time to consolidate options and develop essential life skills. Sometimes opportunities to go to university can be deferred. It is no accident that many distance learning opportunities start their academic years in February.

All is not lost because examination results are not up to scratch. What is necessary is to make informed decisions quickly and make the best of different education or career choices.

Your child has their GCSE results

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It’s time for career and education decisions

So, your child has received their GCSE results – Good? Bad? Indifferent? However they are taking it, you must be thinking about their future career and what education possibilities there for them. Whether or not they got the grades they wanted, or know what they want to do for their career, professional careers advice can smooth this process.

Talking to a professional career counselling service, even at this young age, can really help your teenagers pick their way through the overwhelming amount of careers advice they will get. Our expert careers advisors have worked with tens of thousands of teenagers to assist them in uncovering their strengths, weaknesses, skills and goals, what A levels and degree choices would suit them best and what career they should aim for.

During student years, young people need to make important education and career decisions. Their A level, degree and career choices will have long-term effects on personal happiness and long-term financial success, so it is crucial that career decisions are made rationally, and with full reference to their interests, personality and abilities. We can help them identify these specific factors and apply them to potential career paths.

Making decisions post-GCSEs, with a specific career path in mind, can smooth the process of successfully completing A levels and university, and move them forward into their dream career.

However, not every teenager will automatically want to go on to pursue further education, A levels and degree. Depending on your child’s skills and interests, they may want to follow a more vocational path, rather than a more academic one. Your child will gain more confidence and motivation pursuing a route that most suits their abilities, personality and career goals.

Our careers advice programme for teenagers considers what career would suit your child, their personality, skills and strengths. All teenagers are different, and our Occupational Psychologists have many years of experience working with many thousands of teenagers, including those with special needs, such as Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. Our careers advice programme takes all circumstances into account.

We can help your teenager decide on suitable and fulfilling career pathways after their GCSE results, and involve you in the process. Find out more about our careers advice for teenagers programme here

Bad exam results

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Parents can think that bad examinations results mean the end to good career prospects. This is far from the truth; bad exam results do not mean a lifetime of failure. They may mean an end to a university education, but not everyone thrives working towards a degree in a university environment. Sometimes the perfect career for you is sitting in front of you now, without taking further education.

Failing examinations can be a shock, but it can also be a relief and a fantastic motivator. Many a career path has begun at a low level. Sometimes the alternatives to a university education can offer even greater rewards from career challenges. When some of the career options are removed, it can clarify the mind on what is actually possible for a career path.

Failing exams does not mean the end to the dream of a university education – in some cases it can mean postponing it. Distance learning has now become a part of mainstream education, to the point that the Open University in Milton Keynes educates more university graduates in psychology than any other university in Europe. Brian May, formerly with Queen, was awarded a doctorate in physics in August 2007, thirty-six years after leaving school.

Today, according to Prospects UK, psychology is the third most popular degree choice, though achieving that degree holds many career opportunities and only fifteen percent go on to become chartered psychologists.

Leaving school can also an opportunity to embark on the path to independence and some people want that at an earlier age than others. In the business sector a masters in business administration (MBA) is a highly sought after qualification, employers love it. However, a natural entrepreneurial flair may be more useful to those who wish to embark on a career in their own business. Sir Richard Branson had only three “O” Levels to his name, but at seventeen he had begun a successful student advisory service – and look what he did after that! Bill Gates never graduated, nor did Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

For help in making the right career choices and deciding whether A levels and/or a degree would suit you call us for careers advice on 0800 999 7778.