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Career planning

Career planning is all about realising what the next step of your career is and how to get there.

As a PhD student or junior researcher, you need to plan your career proactively to ensure a smooth transition to a new position once your fixed-term employment at the university ends.

Advice for career planning

Think of career planning as ongoing

As a young researcher, career planning is an ongoing process that can help you manage your learning and development throughout your whole career.

It is difficult to predict just how your career will evolve. The labour market changes over time, just as your ambitions and interests probably will. A career that sounds good right now, may not be a good match in the future.

Engage in short-term planning

Because so much is unknown in relation to your career, it is difficult to make a long-term plan. However, short-term planning is easier.

As long as you regularly reflect on your goals, it is possible to use a short-term plan to ensure that you move in a direction that will continue to meet your needs and interests.

Use planning tools

On this page, you will find different tools that can work as a planning document and outline your goals and objectives for the next year.

These goals can cover your research, your professional development or your overall career plans.

Discuss your career plans

We recommend that you discuss your career plans with your PI/professor/head of department. In collaboration with him or her, you can make an action plan of realistic steps that you can take to help build a desired skill, to better use your existing talents or to prepare for a specific career goal.

If you are planning a career outside academia, you can also book individual career counselling with our career consultants to discuss your plans.

Planning tools