What is a careers appointment? Is it worth it?

Many people have pretty poor opinions of careers advice – due to the advice they or their friends received (or did not receive !) at school. 

At  University it is different, you are officially an adult now so are expected to make your own decisions and there are some tough ones to take, so Careers Services are there to support you through that period.

Should I have an appointment?

As ever it depends!

  • Some students are quite happy researching career options using our website, other resources, family and networks. We never see them and some seem to get on ok.
  • Some students like to make use of extra support and seem to be in every day asking questions, reading, researching and having appointments to help them make the most of their time at university and gain employability skills, oh yeah and get a job!
  • Some students wait until after they have graduated to start thinking about their career, which is understandable but can lead to delays finding a suitable job.

What sort of things can I get help with?

  • I don’t know what I want to do?  Yes you are not alone and we can help.
  • What can I do with my degree?
  • I want a career in finance, law, charity work, teaching, the media, marketing, you name it we have probably heard it before – even had someone who wanted to start their own airline!
  • What is it that employers in X sector are really looking for – who should I apply to?
  • I’m thinking of postgraduate study which course should I do to get into X career?
  • I need work experience and I can’t find anything in my field advertised.
  • I have a disability and I’m really unsure about disclosing it on an application.

And lots more … ask the information team in the Careers Resource Centre to help you and if they can’t answer your question they will refer you for an appointment with a Careers Consultant.

Don’t under value your concerns or questions

We are frequently asked to make snap judgements for people on what they should do with their lives in 5 minutes, with no information about them.  Really, would you ask someone on the street to plan your life?

  • Give yourself some credit – you have a dilemma that you have clearly decided you can’t work through on your own. You are going to have to tell the person you want to help you quite a bit of information to enable them to come up with a strategy to help you or suggest how you can proceed – you need a careers guidance appointment.
  • Give yourself time, don’t struggle up to a deadline then decide at the last-minute you want help (unlike your school or college careers service which if it was like mine was deserted, we are pretty busy so it is unlikely there will be a careers adviser to help you 24/7). So book well in advance.

What won’t happen at your appointment

  • Although you might like us to, its pretty unlikely we will tell you what to do. It’s your life – your decision, take the advice or leave it the choice is yours.
  • We wont give you a job, we are not an agency – we can help you along the way but it’s up to you to make the application to the employer.
  • We won’t do all the work for you – we will give you advice on the best sources of information to help you with your decision-making but at some point it is likely you will have to do some research.
  • We won’t judge you.  Sometimes the truth can be hard to hear but we will try to be diplomatic!
  • We are unbiased – so we won’t tell you to do a degree at X university or work for X employer just because they happen to sponsor something.

What will happen

  • We will listen to you – if you think we are not understanding your needs correctly, tell us and we will try again.
  • We will probably ask you lots of questions to try to find out exactly what you need to know.
  • We will give you options to consider.
  • We can help you assess your strengths and skills and give you ideas of how to improve them.
  • You will discuss some actions but in many cases this is only part of a longer process.

So when I should I book one?

  • If you feel ready to take action.
  • It’s never too early so second semester in your first year would be a good time for those who want to get started early.
  • It’s never too late either. If you do leave it til after your final year exams try to come in before you leave – some companies recruit over the summer for immediate or September start dates. 
  • We do offer support for up to 3 years from the end of your course, but if you have moved away or are working full-time you will need to be realistic about how you are going to access these services. Different time zones and working hours can make even a telephone appointment tricky to schedule.

Please note: Mid September to mid December is the busiest period of the year – we provide extra appointments but longer waiting times are not uncommon.  So starting a bit earlier i.e. in the second semester or summer before will enable you to get ahead of the crowds!

Pop in or ring us on 0161 275 2829 to have a chat and schedule an appointment.
More information and how to book

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