Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Decisions, decisions!

If you've been following our blog over the last couple of weeks, chances are you have completed your Self-Assessment and Career Research. It's now time to start making some decisions! If you are comfortable in your degree (or you’re switching into a preferred area of study) it’s important that you start deciding on what path you are likely to take after graduation.

The two major options you should start considering are:

  • Further Education: Am I interested in completing post-graduate studies?
    or
  • Direct Employment: Am I interested in going straight into the work force?

When considering the second option it’s important to keep in mind that some occupations require post-secondary education.  It’s imperative that you triple check your research to determine whether or not post-secondary is necessary in order to obtain your career goal. Post-graduate studies are a wonderful way to expand your knowledge of a subject you feel passionate about but it’s important to keep in mind that it takes additional time and money to complete. 

If you are interested in going straight into the work force after graduation it’s important to network with individuals in your field and to consider finding an internship to gain relevant experience which can be included on your resume. It also never hurts to get involved in the community by volunteering which can give you even more hands on experience in something you are passionate about. The career world is as competitive as ever right now so remember to do anything you can to make yourself stand out over everyone else!

Once you’ve decided between extending your time in university or jumping into the work force it’s time to start making SMART goals:

   Specific: What are you doing and how are you going to do it?
   Measurable: Are you choosing a goal that you can watch yourself progress through?
   Attainable: Do you feel that you will be able to stay committed to your goal?
   Realistic: Are the expectations you are setting for yourself too high?
   Timely: When do you want this specific goal to be obtained by?

On the Career Services website we have a couple worksheets available to help you with your SMART goal planning:

Brittany and I have completed both of these worksheets for our own career goals and would be more then happy to assist anyone else having difficulty sorting things out. I personally find that having a physical copy of my goals to look over is extremely valuable when sorting through my many unorganized thoughts.

Decision making can be stressful and discouraging at times, but its all about keeping things simple! Don't stress yourself out by making unrealistic goals. I mean, if you aren't going to go to med school you aren't going to be a doctor!


And don't be afraid to conduct any additional research in order to fine tune your SMART goals. Double and triple check any information that is vital to your goals to ensure any confusion and unnecessary stress down the road.


Good luck and feel free to email us or stop by if you have any questions!

~ Ashley

27 comments:

  1. What is your advice for when you make a goal, do the spread sheet etc. but you don't achieve it? Thx

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  2. Hey Grace!

    If you aren't able to achieve a goal it is more than likely that one of the SMART goal setting steps is not succeeding for you. It is always important to step back and reeavaluate the goals you made in order to see where something might not be working. Your goal might be specific and measurable, but it might just not be realistic or attainable. Always take it slow, don't go too big with your goals from the start, ease into it. Making smaller goals to start might seem tedious, but trust us, working your way up in the small scope is the fastest way to accomplish something BIG in the long run!

    If you have any other questions for us, or would like to speak to us specifically about your goals, feel free to email us at career@brocku.ca or visit us here at the Career Resource Centre in the Learning Commons!

    :)

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  3. *Another thing to consider Grace, is your Plan B. For example, if the goal for Plan A was to get into Graduate School but the marks just weren't good enough (not attainable) then it would be worthwhile to consider what else you could do instead. Having a Plan B is not a cop-out; it is all part of being SMART with your decision-making and goal setting strategies!

    - Brittany

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