Making a plan

Were am I now in my career thoughts?/Where do I want to be in a career?

These quesitons can be difficult if you are not sure what direction you would like to go in. Starting to think about this early can help you to solidify your ideas as you progress through university. Our Career Planning section can help you to beging thinking about things, and attending an appointment with a Careers Consultant can help to coach you through your thoughts.

Try new work experiences to get a sense of what you like and what you dislike.

The sooner you know what types of careers appeal to you, the sooner you can start to target those industries for your experience opportunities which will help to make your CV look focussed and have experience relevant to that opportunity in the future.

How can I get there?

This might still require some research and perhaps an appointment with a Careers Consultant, but try to structure your thoughts about next steps using the SMART framework below.

SMART targets

SMART targets can be a useful tool to establish relevant objectives and help you track your success and to ensure that you manage your time effectively without becoming overwhelmed. They can be applied to many areas of your life and they can be useful to break a large task in to smaller more manageable objectives.

SMART targets should be:

Specific - be clear in what you want to do
Measurable – record your baseline knowledge. Later reflect on whether this has increased.
Achievable – is the target feasible to attain or are you being too ambitious?
Relevant – is the target related/applicable to your overall longer-term career aim?
Time-bound – when would you like to see results?

When establishing SMART targets you may want to ask questions such as; what do I want to achieve; why do I want to do this; how will I do this; where will I do this; when will I do this; who will be involved; what are the limitations; what does success look like and are there alternative approaches?

Examples of SMART targets that a first year undergraduate might use?

(S) I want to be involved in the Musical Theatre society while studying at Imperial.

(M) I’ve been involved in school productions so hope to be cast in a role and balance my time so I also pass all my exams. 

(A) Auditions are open to all students and rehearsals should fit around my timetable.

(R) I’ll gain confidence and be able to demonstrate effective time management which will be useful for any future career path.

(T) I hope to secure a role in a production by the end of my first year.

Setting objectives