choosing your career

October 24, 2017, by Carla

How Do You Figure out What Job You Want to Do?

By Gemma Foxall, Employability Officer – Sutton Bonington Campus

How do people know what job they want to do?

It’s a big question. You’ll probably know some people who’ve known what their ideal job is since school, but there will be other people who’ve thought about lots of different options but not yet found something they can see themselves doing full time. 

Choosing your career is a common dilemma. Our careers advisers hear from lots of you who are facing this dilemma every week, so you’re by no means alone.

So, how can you start to figure it out?

1. Gain an insight into as many roles, companies or industries as possible

The benefit of this is that you might come across an opportunity that really excites you; this might even be a job that you’ve never even thought of before.

How? Use your contacts – talk to friends, colleagues, or other alumni. Try the alumni e-mentoring scheme to find contacts. People like to talk about their careers, so ask what is involved and what they like about their role.  You could even ask for work experience or work shadowing opportunities.

Consider more formal experience – for example, through the Nottingham Internship Scheme, a Year in Industry, summer placement or company insight day.

Attend careers fairs and Spotlight On… events – in order to meet company representatives and have the opportunity to ask about their role/company

The more you find out, the better you’ll know if it’s interesting to you. Remember finding out what you don’t want to do is helpful too.

2. Spend some time understanding your own strengths and preferences

The theory behind this suggests that the better you know your own personality, the better you will be able to find a role that matches well with your strengths and preferences.


To help you articulate what makes you tick, there are a number of questionnaires that you can use:

You might find this research helpful in itself, but you might also benefit from talking through what you’ve discovered with a careers adviser. Book an appointment here.

Are you struggling to think of ideas when it comes to choosing your career? You can explore a wide variety of different sectors in more depth here. 

Posted in Choosing Your Career