What to expect from a Careers Service appointment and how to prepare
Find out about how Careers Service appointments can help you and what to do to make sure you get the most out of your session.
How we can help
Our Advisers are here to support you at every stage of your career planning. But what actually happens in an appointment? Will your career path magically open up before you during it? Will everything become clear as a result?
We would love the answer to those questions to be ‘Yes’! But in all honesty an appointment is part of a process where you begin to figure these things out for yourself. We aim to help you clarify the issues most important to you, answer your questions and enable you to make progress, no matter what stage you come to us at.
At peak times, appointments are in very high demand and you may not be able to have multiple sessions. To make sure you get the most out of your appointment, make sure you know what to expect and how to prepare by reading our guidance below.
In our Careers Appointments, Advisers will help you with any career questions you may have.
We talk to students about many issues. The following list is not exhaustive. But to give you an idea, some of the questions we hear include:
- I don't know what I want to do. How do I decide?
- How can I work out which jobs are right for me?
- I want to change/leave my course. Will this be the right move in terms of my career plans?
- I do/don't want to use my subject when I graduate. What are my options?
- I have a practical question about approaching an employer/interview/job offer. Can I talk this through with someone?
- I'm interested in further study, but will it be worthwhile?
What to expect
This is your appointment. You set the agenda, the pace, and are totally in control. You will also be doing most of the talking. Careers Advisers, are here to facilitate your career choice and development, rather than lead it.
A Careers Adviser may challenge your statements, will try to make the picture clearer for you and help you to plan your next steps. You may not leave with all the answers – but you should be closer to finding them.
A Career Adviser may try to:
- Help draw out your priorities, values and expectations
- Gently challenge your motivations
- Encourage you to reflect on what you have done already
- Help you to develop your understanding of your chosen paths
- Help you to weigh up your options
- Make suggestions about potential resources, strategies, sectors or pathways
- Provide answers to some straight-forward questions
A Careers Adviser cannot:
- Make a decision for you about which option/path to choose from
- Tell you which jobs you will be suited to or what you will enjoy doing
- Tell you which employers are recruiting
- Tell you everything you will need to know about your chosen career
- Tell you which employers can recruit Tier 4 Visa holders or give visa advice
- Tell you what to do!
If you aren't sure if we can help you, please contact Careers before booking. Our Information Team will be able to advise you on appointments and resources.
How to get the most out of your appointment
At peak times, particularly in October and November, you may not be able to get an immediate appointment, or have multiple appointments. So we want you to get the maximum benefit out of every appointment.
If you just don't know where to start thinking about your career, that's fine. A Careers Adviser can help you with this, especially if you are worrying about how and where to start. Just be aware that each appointment may only help you to move a few steps along.
If you are able and willing to do a little (or a lot!) of preparation, you will inevitably find yourself further along the process. Even a small amount of research or reflection may help you to focus the appointment on what you are really needing.
The best way to prepare is by checking out our resources on MyFuture. These cover every stage of career planning. They are worth looking at before you book too, as you might find your question answered with a bit of research.
Even if you don’t know what you want to do, there is still some research you can do. Try searching MyFuture Resources for resources about career options. You will find advice on narrowing down your career options, helpsheets covering different sectors and information on how to do your own research.
Information staff and appointments
If it's information you need, you may not need a Careers Appointment at all. The trained information staff in the Careers Service can help you to find resources. You don't need to book to access this this so it can be much quicker than waiting for an appointment with a Careers Adviser. You can drop in to our Information Room, telephone, email or ask a question on MyFuture.
We also have Information Appointments available that offer the same service. These are a one-to-one appointment with our Information Officers. You might want to book one of these if you have a longer query or would like to guarantee a particular time to talk to us (sometimes we can be very busy!). You can book these through MyFuture.
The sorts of things information staff can help with include:
- How to get started with your career research and planning
- How to research career options and job roles
- Where to look for jobs and work experience
- How to do in-depth research on employers
- Using resources to improve your commercial awareness
If you aren't sure if we can help, contact us and we will be able to advise you on the best option.
CV and applications advice
If you would like feedback on an application, please look at our information on getting the most out of our CV and application advice appointments.