November 19, 2013, by Jackie Thompson

Choosing Your Career Part Two – Will It Suit You?

By Hannah Woolley, Employability Education Manager

In ‘Choosing your career part one’ we focused on researching careers using web resources, networking with people working in those careers, getting support from our alumni through the eMentoring scheme and gaining work experience.

Since then you may have got a list of possible career choices, but now you need to consider which ones will suit you. This post focuses on the importance of your personality, learning style and values in making this decision.


Your personality influences – how you interact with others, plan your work and deal with challenging situations. For example:

  • Do you prefer to work on projects quietly and independently or do you like working in a group with lively discussions?
  • When carrying out research for an assignment, do you prefer to focus on the detail and intricacies of the subject, or do you read widely to understand the larger concepts that affect it?
  • When making decisions, do you base them on logic supported by evidence, or are you guided by your own personal values and the impact on others?
  • When revising for exams, do you write and stick a revision timetable and work consistently leading up to the day, or do you prefer to take a more flexible approach and feel energised by last-minute pressure?

Review the careers that interest you, can you utilise your preferences and strengths in those roles?


Your values can affect the way you feel about certain career options, how comfortable you might be in certain workplace environments or cultures.

If you were giving the following list of motivations, how would you order them?

  • Status
  • Salary
  • Travel opportunities
  • Intellectual recognition
  • Financial reward
  • Excitement or adventure
  • Work/life balance
  • Location
  • Level of responsibility
  • Connection to a bigger cause

Use this information to evaluate different jobs: you might have the chance to travel abroad but the target-driven nature of the role might not suit you.

What else would appear on your list of values?

Learning style

When you start any new role and throughout your career there will be a lot to learn and understand so it’s important to recognise your preferred learning style. Think about  your studies, how do you like to learn? Which of the following sounds most like you?

  • You like to take an active ‘hands-on’ approach and get stuck in.
  • You like to take a problem-solving approach and use technical know-how to find practical solutions.
  • You like to take a concise, logical approach and are interested in concepts and theoretical knowledge.
  • You like to look at things from a range of perspectives, observe others and use your imagination.

What learning opportunities and support networks are available in the professions that interest you?

It is useful to think about how much support will you need in your career and when researching companies offering those roles, find out what is available from them, for example mentors, a structured training programme and so on.

Using ‘Profiling for Success’ questionnaires

In this video, I talk about these elements and how you can use ‘Profiling for Success’ questionnaires to build up your profile. We subscribe to this service so you can access the questionnaires free.

Why not try complete one or two of the ‘Profiling for Success’ questionnaires – this link takes you to Workspace and you need to enter your University username and password. Then book a 30-minute career coaching appointment to discuss your results on a one-to-one basis.

Posted in Choosing Your Career