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The Career Development Process

Before deciding on your next possible career move, it is useful to consider your skills and options because this will help you plan your development and help you make a career decision that is right for you.

We suggest that you follow the 4 commonly used steps:  

  

1. Understanding yourself

Understanding yourself means knowing your skills and competences but it also about realizing your values, your personality, your aptitudes and your interests. The perfect job will be a job where all of these factors are fulfilled, but in reality, we sometimes have to compromise because the different factors collide.  

2. Exploring your options

In order for you to make a career move, you need to have an understanding of what your possibilities are. This means learning about different occupations which fit with your self assessment in step 1. You can explore your options by looking at job descriptions, participating in career fairs, research what people with a similar background as yours are doing and look into as many different kinds of jobs, so you know what your options are. You can read more about the most common career paths for young researchers here.  

3. Make a decision

By now, you will have an understanding of yourself and of the many options out there, so the natural next step is to make a decision about the direction(s) you would like to pursue. Consider thoroughly what these jobs entail and what the requirements are so that you know how you match and where possible shortcomings are.  

4. Take action

During this step you will be making an action plan for how to reach a goal(s) you have identified through the other 3 steps. Whether it is on paper or in your head is up to you, but the important part is that you consider how you will reach your goal(s). These goals can be developing a skill, taking a course, building a network or other possible goals that you have realized that you need in order to make the career move you want. But it may also be taking action with regards to actually getting the job you want. In this case your plan should include finding concrete jobs and potential employers, activating your network, writing CVs and cover letters, updating your LinkedIn profile etc. so your reach your goal of getting your next job.  

To help you with the different steps in this process, we recommend using the tools in the left hand side, which can help you identify your skills, interests and values as well as possible knowledge gaps. We also recommend discussing your career ideas with your supervisor/PI and of course to look at the different services, activities and individual counselling offered by the career service.