Achieving your career

After thinking about yourself, (see Understanding yourself)  doing some research  into different jobs and careers (Career research) and choosing which career areas fit your preferences and values (Choosing a career)  it is time to start taking action.

This page is designed to help you to start defining a plan of action by setting some manageable goals.

Planning for action

At it's most basic level 'action planning' can be viewed as 

  1. Identifying a goal 
  2. Setting a time frame for achieving the goal 
  3. Identifying what resources are needed to help achieve the goal e.g. attending an event, working on a CV, setting up a LinkedIn profile. 

Use what you know about yourself to help inform your career action plan. Booking a careers discussion with one of our careers consultants can help too.

Planned happenstance

Some people can feel demotivated by structure and long term goals.  Planned happenstance is a career model which focuses on being aware and prepared to make the most of opportunities as they arise rather than sticking to plans.

What are your goals?

Not all 'goals' are equal. You can decide to set yourself a big, life-changing goal e.g. 'move to a different country' or 'pursue a PhD'. Alternatively, you can choose a smaller goal e.g. 'to start volunteering'. 

In reality life can sometimes be more complicated than the straightforward a+b=c approach of some goal setting models. It can be really useful to think about what you've learnt in the self-assessment and career research elements of our career planning model and come up one key goal and some small 'stepping stone' goals to help you along the way. 

For example:

Key goal

"I'd like to work for charity when I finish LSE" 

Stepping stone goals

"I need to find out more about what jobs are available in the charity sector" 
"I'd like get some voluntary experience working in a charity" 
"I need to update my CV" 

Identifying the smaller goals will help make the whole process feel more manageable, particularly when you are managing your studies alongside planning your career. 

If you want to know more about goal setting theory take a look at the links below.

Useful resources

  • Mindtools has a really useful section about goal setting , with links to examples and practical exercises. 
  • Windmills is a career planning tool with useful exercises to help you define your goals, and manage the process.
  • Search LSE graduate profiles to see how past alumni have achieved their career goals.
  • LSE Careers Insights brochure contains useful information on alumni career paths, internships and various employment sectors.
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