‘Most of us spend more time planning our next holiday, which will take up about 80 hours of our life, than we spend planning our career, which will take up 80,000 hours of our life’
Richard Nelson Bolles
Richard Nelson-Bolles
Author of the best-selling job-hunting book, What Color is Your Parachute?

Why career plan?

Planning for your future enables you to…

  • Be in a job you like
  • Take on jobs you can cope with and are able to progress in
  • Only have debts for qualifications you use
  • Discover opportunities you may not know about!

Getting Started

Whether you know which career you want to start, or whether you are unsure, to help make a well-informed and realistic decision:

  • Keep an open mind – look past stereotypes and ‘safe’ choices. Attend college and university open events and careers fairs to explore all the courses and careers available.
  • Think about your decision-making style – can you be impulsive, saying yes to the first thing you see? Can you be hesitant and let your friends or family decide for you? Look into all the options before making a decision… but make sure to decide before someone else decides for you!
  • Develop your personal and transferable skills – through working part-time, volunteering, taking on positions of responsibility (e.g. class reps), attending university summer schools, taking on personal projects (e.g. creating your own website) and, if you are aged 16/17, signing up to the National Citizen Service (wearencs.com).

The job market is changing all the time, and many of the jobs that will be available in 5 years’ time will look different than the jobs available now. Jobs in digital marketing didn’t exist 10 years ago and there is now a national skills shortage in this area! The Start Profile, Prospects and National Careers Service websites all include labour market information, and the below links may also be useful:

Labour market information to inform careers decisions: https://www.lmiforall.org.uk 

Jobs & Skills in 2030: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jobs-and-skills-in-2030

An online tool to compare jobs e.g. salary, working hours, growth etc: https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/information/careerometer

Career opportunities in Cumbria: www.thecumbrialep.co.uk/ourfuture.   

The Skillsometer!

The ‘Skillsometer’ can help you discover what jobs you might like to do in the future. You will be presented with a series of statements. Select the emoji shows how you feel about each statement. You will then be given suggestions of jobs linked to what you most enjoy doing. For each job, you will be presented with some headline UK data.

Got a career in mind?

When you have one or a few careers in mind, consider the following:

  • Will this job/ career be available in this area and elsewhere in the UK in the future? What are the skills shortages?
  • What qualifications and skills do I need? What are the entry requirements?
  • What’s important to you? E.g. job satisfaction, money, promotion prospects, being close to family
  • Does the opportunity match your skills, interests and values?

Also think about:

  • Who influences you? Have you any pressures from your family or friends?
  • Any challenges that need considering e.g. family commitments, your own confidence etc?

If you need to gain further qualifications to progress, consider:

  • How do I learn best, e.g. classroom/academic learning, practical experience or a mixture of the two?
  • Would assessment via exams or ongoing assessment (e.g. assignments, practical activities, presentations) be better for you?
  • What type of environment do I want to study in? Do I want to study locally or further afield?
  • What transport and financial support do colleges/universities offer?
  • What extra opportunities are on offer, e.g. trips, clubs, competitions, work placements, Duke of Edinburgh, etc?

The Careerometer!

The ‘Careerometer’ can be used to explore and compare key information about occupations, help you learn about different occupations and identify potential careers. It provides access to a selection of UK headline data relating to pay, weekly hours of work and future employment prospects for different occupations, as well as description of the occupation.

Simply type in the title of the job you are interested in and the widget provides a series of options from which you can select the most relevant to you. You can then look up another two occupations and compare. You can also select ‘display the UK average’ and compare the information with the occupation you have selected.

Next Steps