College Career Planning: Things to Consider

College Career Planning: Things to Consider 

LLJ_collegeDeciding on a perfect career can be a daunting prospect for any 16 to 18-year-old. Juggling exams with hectic social lives and extracurricular activities leaves little room for reflective thought and research. However, the importance of career planning should never be underestimated. Here at, we are in the midst of advocating career paths in the run up to National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week this March and are passionate about helping young people during this important stage. We have put together the following careers guide to help you consider your options and better your chances on the career ladder. 

Consider your career choices regularly

Try to resist the temptation to leave career planning to the last minute! We are all willing to accept regular appointments and different daily routines, so why not career planning? Make a window every week to research career paths; industry news that could sway your decision, and which skills you will need to succeed. An easy way to schedule this into your routine is to slot career planning into an exam timetable. Thorough research will enable you to make decisions based on comprehensive knowledge rather than that initial gut feeling alone.

Make the most of your time

University students know extracurricular activities can enhance any CV. From captaining a sports club to becoming a student ambassador, making the most of your time pro-actively can make you stand out from the crowd to future employers. Why not start this proactive stance whilst at college to better your chances even further? Why not help out at a local sports club or assist with setting up a community event? If politics is an interest, your local MP is always in need of more canvassers to raise awareness. Not only will you gain valuable experience, you can use this hands-on experience to find out what you like and what you don’t.

Get personal 

Career planning is a thoughtful balancing act. On the one hand, you would like a career that is sought after and will earn you a decent lifestyle. On the other, a career that incorporates your passions will increase job satisfaction. Good career planning successfully marries these elements to form a personal plan that is unique to you, and not just what everyone else is doing.

Talk to industry insiders

Assessing a job as an outsider can be very different to what the job is actually like on a day-to-day basis. If you want to know what a particular job is like or what full time work will actually be like, ask around wider family and friend circles from several sectors and generations. Alternatively, make use of online company contact details in your chosen field to communicate, either over the phone or online, with any employees who are willing to help.

Reflect on past achievements

Achieving something great can put anyone in a good mood. What if you could replicate that feel-good factor every week at work? Reflect on your personal achievements, no matter how small, and make a quick note of what you did and what led you to those particular choices. This exercise may recall forgotten moments and rediscover past passions that will help you to shape your current career plan.

Look beyond the familiar

Career guidance in schools and colleges is often aimed at university being the most viable option to young people. National Apprentice Week and apprenticeship schemes across the country hope to change the university-centric culture in the UK by promoting the benefits of apprenticeships. The number of people in apprenticeships has increased 73% since 2009, with more than 851,000 apprentices recorded in November 2014. These figures have been boosted in recent years as unattractive university fees are driving young people to seek out alternative paths.

Feedback shows that apprenticeships benefit business and young people. According to an AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) report, apprentices increase productivity, improve staff morale and improve staff retention. The report also found that the leading apprenticeship employers work in the business, administration and law sectors followed by health, public services and care. National Apprentice Week, which runs from 9 to 13 March, 2015, aims to increase awareness on how to become an apprentice in the UK.

Start networking

In June 2014, LinkedIn user figures reached an impressive 332 million. Business social networks, like LinkedIn, are important meeting places for industry professionals to share information and exchange communications. Pulse is a great feature on the website that allows you to access blogs written by top business figures, news and business-related features. LinkedIn is commonly used to recruiters, therefore, along with job listings, there are reams of articles that are job focused, such as interview posts, tips on hiring and what employers are looking for. Start using these networking sites to learn the information and social skills that are needed in the workplace.

Alternative advice services

Thanks to the range of career advice services that are now available to young people, finding help is now easier than ever. The team at are passionate about building an economy from the grass roots up. Together with local colleges, schools and businesses in the south east, we have created award-winning employability advice portals: Take OFF, BEACH (Brighton Employability Advice and Careers Hut) and Pathway – ‘Steps to Success’. We also launched the World of Work initiative this February to increase our good work across the region.


To find out more about our employability services or our involvement with National Apprentice Week and how you can get involved, please fill out our simple online enquiry form or call us on 01273 651100. The job boards now have four career advice portals: BEACH (Brighton Employability Advice and Careers Hut), Take OFF, Pathway – ‘Steps to Success’ and WOW (World of Work). Each has collaborated with local businesses and students with the aim of engaging young people across Sussex. Take a look at each micro site to see how we can help you.

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