Career is about doing things that are important and interesting to you.

It is easier to grasp them when you know what your interests are and what you can excel at.

Frequently asked questions about careers

Is it necessary to have a career?

Everybody has a career. A career is the chain of different jobs and working life experiences that is unique and different for all of us.

Somebody’s career can be a like a train, moving in a straight line towards more and more challenging tasks within a single industry. Somebody else might advance at a slower pace or expand their competence to include other industries as well, moving from one expert position to another, perhaps even changing industries. The third person might have several employers simultaneously and be working on many different things at the same time. All of these are ok.

Isn’t career planning for after your studies?

You can – and should – plan your career already during your studies by looking into interesting industries and jobs in order to have a direction for the future.

Gaining work experience from your own field already during your studies provides a good foundation for your ideas and planning. It is advisable to gather experience from different places, as spending two or three summers in the same job is not likely to provide you with new ideas.

What are the most important aspects of career planning?

Career plans are like a motor. They require fuel. The fuel includes information, interests, values, experience and skills.

In order to function properly, a motor needs a steady supply of fuel – expanding your competence, finding new interests and gaining new experiences from working life are good ways of keeping your motor running.

What if I make bad choices?

Decisions concerning work are always made on the basis of slightly lacking information containing plenty of assumptions, expectations and interpretations. You can never be completely certain of what the consequences of your decision will be, but in any case, you make your choices using your best judgement.

For example, you don’t have to feel sorry if your choice of summer job doesn’t turn out to be the best possible – by the end of the summer, you will have learned a lot about yourself.

We can never know exactly what the future will bring. You can prepare for the future by honing your skills and ensuring that you stay up-to-date with any new trends in your field.

What if I change my mind?

It’s okay to change your mind. Thinking about your career and planning your professional path will almost certainly point you towards new, interesting things. Considering these things carefully can offer a good basis for new choices.

You don’t have to fit a specific pattern or career type. Your career should look like you.

What is career planning? Why is it important?

The world is full of fascinating things!

Many opportunities to try something new, learn things, help somebody or bring them joy simply pass you by during your studies, work and hobbies.

Notice opportunities

After you have done some career planning, i.e. stopped to think about your professional self, it will be easier to identify these opportunities and seize them at the right moment. You won’t have to think back and wonder why you missed your chance.

You may also want to check out words as “serendipity”, “happenstance”. Those can be wonderful forces in your career and life. It is about being right place at the right time. It is about being prepared, open-minded and willing to look things from a new angle.

Keep it simple

The goal of career planning is to form basic models for your potential professional futures.

Your own ideas are what matter – not the choices of your family or friends, or whatever is currently hot in the media.

The models change

The basic models for your career develop, change and become richer as you gain more work experience and grow professionally.

The point is not to make a solid plan covering the next 50 years of working life. Instead, the models are there to give you direction.

How can I plan my career in practice?

Career planning means you have to take a look inside yourself…

Take note of, for example, what is most interesting to you. What is the subject or activity that makes you lose track of time? Have your interests changed from earlier times?

You can also think about what makes you excited and what gives you energy to help you get through life and work.

What have you learned in different work situations, jobs and workplaces? These may include things that aren’t directly related to the core of your work. What about your hobbies?

Where have you been most successful? Which skills and competence have you used when you have succeeded?

What are your working life values?

…and do some professional exploration…

You can’t know everything by looking inwards, and that is why you should also look outside and around yourself when planning your career.

Your years as a student are the time that allows you the most freedom of experimentation and professional curiosity.

So be the James T. Kirk of your career – explore! Try out things, ask questions, make observations, find different ways to be active.

Boldly experimenting with different jobs, roles, methods of working, environments and teams is the best way to find the ones that are suitable for you.

At the same time, you will certainly discover surprising new interests and previously unknown areas to which you could apply your competence.

…and collect information about the working life…

Nobody has the time to try out everything in person. The next best way to get information is to find out what other people have experienced.

When you meet an interesting person at your summer job, at a recruitment event, through a friend or anywhere, don’t hesitate to ask them questions about their job and competence. Asking questions actively will allow you to expand your knowledge of different jobs and workplaces. At the same time, your actions will demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in the people around you, which will help you to come across as active and make a good impression.

You can also collect information in a more systematic manner by thinking about who you would specifically like to meet and what information you need, and then writing them down for further consideration.

…and then combine all of the above

Career planning is about combining all of this – your experiences and information you have discovered yourself or heard from others, as well as your skills, interests, feelings and personal values.

They form the basis you can use in the future when you need to make choices and decisions that feel meaningful. They offer a means to discover the lifestyle and manner of working that is best for you.



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