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Career and life planning in challenging times. David Levinson, International Careers Adviser This session aims to…. Help you to reflect on where you are and where you want to get to in your career Reflect on how to make this happen Help you to identify next steps .

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career and life planning in challenging times

Career and life planning in challenging times

David Levinson, International Careers Adviser

this session aims to
This session aims to….
  • Help you to reflect on where you are and where you want to get to in your career
  • Reflect on how to make this happen
  • Help you to identify next steps

The skills challenge

How on earth did I

get here?


‘To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive’ Robert Louis Stevenson

‘Life is a journey, not a destination-we determine our destiny by the direction we take’


‘It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end’

Ursula K. LeGuin

career and life planning
Career and life planning…

Most people spend more time planning a car purchase or upgrading their smart phone than they do thinking about their career.

what do you want
What do you want?

What kinds of knowledgeand interests do you want to use?

What kinds of skills do you want to use?

What kind of life style do you want to have?

Are there any potential barriers or conflicts?

career focused or career blurry
Career focused or career blurry?
  • Why plan at all?
  • Serendipity or ‘planned happenstance’ (Krumboltz)
  • Making your own luck
  • Opening yourself up to possibilities.
strategies for career success
Strategies for career success

Logical process of analysis, logic and elimination

Drive to find ‘ideal’ job

Matching skills and values to roles

Systematic narrowing down of choices through comprehensive research and information gathering

Future uncertain and unpredictable

Behavioural strategies to deal with this

Chance events provide opportunities

Must be pro-active

Based on ideas and concepts of theories of chaos

did you know
Did you know….

Over half the people in the UK feel they are in the wrong job!

86% are not working in their dream job

Does this matter?

what makes people happy at work
What makes people happy at work?

A sense of purpose / meaning

Friendship / affiliation


what is success
What is success…?

It could involve shifting from……








It could involve shifting from……

Other peoples’ definition of success

“ railway tracks” – started so I’ll finish

Failure is not an option

Success is always somewhere else

Being unhappy


Focus on internal – what we are in the process of becoming

Being about your passions

Being the best you can be

Failure and sidetracking are allowed!

Being happy!!

What is success…?

life post mba
Life post-MBA

Life post-graduation

pragmatism v idealism
Better to earn money than wait for your ideal job?

Move in related steps

BUT beware of damaging your CV

Pragmatism v Idealism?
how far do you want to move
How far do you want to move?

Increasing breadth of opportunity

increasing likelihood of re-training

increasing ‘risk’

increasingly further from ‘comfort zone’

increasing effort to investigate

increasing effort required to make the move

less value likely to be attached to previous experience

dealing with change
Change is the new status-quo

Success at work will require agility, talent and the ability to learn from - rather than fear - failure

Dealing with change….

Your Job Survival Guide, a Manual for Thriving in Change,

Gregory Shea, and Robert Gunther.

Focus on your skills & interests

Research what employers want

Brief yourself – LinkedIn, Twitter

Be realistic about your market value

Top Tips

surviving interesting times do
Keep developing and learning

Be open-minded and curious when looking for opportunities

Make the most of your experience and skills

Maintain your professional networks

Surviving interesting timesDo……
Change jobs too frequently

Fail to demonstrate results

Do nothing!

Surviving interesting timesDon’t……

finding opportunities
Finding opportunities

25% advertised vacancies:

  • Websites, agencies


75% not advertised:

  • Networking, speculative applications, ‘working your way up’
what is a network
What is a network?

People you know (and maybe

the people who they know)

People who know you (and

maybe the people who know them)

A way of accessing help and


A way of providing help and




Why network?

  • Personal & professional growth
  • Become part of a community
  • Learn and exchange information
networking what it is
Networking:What it is
  • Planting the seeds
  • Taking an interest in people (gets them interested in you)
  • You identify the people you want to get to know first – it’s a long game

Nurture your network

  • Be polite
  • Think of good questions to ask
  • Say thank you
  • Follow up and keep in touch
  • BUT don’t be a pest!


This is the start of your online brand

use social media platforms to
Use social media platforms to:
  • Self publicise
  • Find and connect with key people
  • Look for companies to approach for work
  • Find vacancies
  • Explore career ideas
  • Learn new information/get inspired
  • Keep abreast of developments within your field
  • Market a company

When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments

  • You can then form connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you
  • Your network consists of your connections, potentially your connections’ connections, and the people they know, (potentially) linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts
  • There are over 200 million users on LinkedIn; are you missing out if you’re not on there too??

Final thought…

what’s your USP?