Careers Network

Explore career options

Photo of person looking at research your career web page on Careers Network website

To find a career that really suits you, there are a number of factors to consider, including your skills and interests, degree subject, work experience so far, work preferences, values and motivations. Researching career roles and exploring available options will help you reach a well-informed decision.

Get to know yourself

Start increasing your self-awareness to help you decide what kind of job or career might be right for you.  This will also help you consider what wouldn’t be good choices.  There are a number of different ways you could approach this.

Ask yourself

  • What skills do I have?
  • What are my likes, (and dislikes)?
  • What am I good at and enjoy doing?
  • What are my development needs?
  • What would I not want to spend all day doing?
  • What are my values and preferences?
  • How does all this information relate to a career?

Talk to others

It’s not always easy to consider your own strengths honestly and realistically, but you can gain a really good insight by discussing them with others.  Start by asking your friends and family what they think you are good at and you could also discuss your skills with your tutors, peers, employers or colleagues you work with.  You might also find it helpful to do this as part of a discussion with a member of the Careers Network Team – the sooner the better.

Sign up to 'Personal Best'

The Personal Best skills development programme for Loughborough students provides the opportunity to develop, recognise and better articulate your own skills and attributes, leading to greater self-awareness and success, both at University and into the future.   Download the app and start by completing the Skills Profile.  All new undergraduate students will have Personal Best built into their timetable and all students can use the programme to set goals and explore resources to help them to become their Personal Best.

Use our online tools

There are a wide variety of questionnaires and quizzes available online to help with career choice and consider how your personality, values, motivations and preferences might point towards careers that might suit you best.   The three below are ideal for University students to use at an early stage in the career planning process and if you wish you can bring your results to discuss with a Careers Consultant.

Prospects Career Planner

This will enable you to build a profile of your interests and skills, then match these to relevant graduate occupations and explore them in more detail.

Profiling for Success

A set of personal development tools to increase your self-awareness, enabling more accurate decision making and career choice. Find out what PFS can do for you in this five minute introductory video.

To access these visit our Online tools page where you will be asked for your University username and password. You will also need to make sure you are connected to the University Network, either on campus or via the VPN

(If you are a Loughborough graduate you won't have automatic access to these tools. Please email stating your full name and either your Student ID number or your degree course and year of graduation and a member of our team will arrange access for you.)

Explore different careers

Once you have identified the skills, interests and preferences that might influence your career choice, you can start exploring what careers are out there and find out more about them.

Use your degree

To explore careers related to your degree, and consider how you can use what you have learnt from your studies at university, visit Options with your degree, tailored for Loughborough students.

Looking at the graduate destinations of previous Loughborough students graduating from your degree programme can also be really helpful. To view these, see Where do our graduates go?

Investigate career areas and job roles

Researching broad career areas is a great way to generate career ideas and uncover jobs you may have never heard of before.

If you already have ideas for possible career options, or just want to browse what’s available, the Prospects website provides easy to read, detailed information and key resources for over 500 job profiles including a job description and responsibilities, salary, qualifications and skills required for entry, work experience, career prospects, employers, vacancy sources and related jobs.

Use labour market information

The labour market can be defined as “the availability of employment and labour in terms of supply and demand".  You can gain more in-depth knowledge of various industry sectors, and the opportunities within them, by researching labour market information. (This is also very useful at the later application and interview stages of your job search). Please search Sources to research labour market information in Find jobs and work experience.

Look at current vacancies

One way to find out about occupations is to look at the vacancies and opportunities that are currently available. Search Target Connect to see all the vacancies we have advertised this year, using the Jobs and Opportunities and Find Vacancy tabs.  

To find opportunities that require your degree discipline, select the relevant ‘department’ filter to see which employers are recruiting and what kind of jobs they are offering.  If you do have some career ideas, you can also search by Occupational Area, Vacancy Type and a number of other filters.

Make some decisions

If you would like to discuss your options, or you still have no idea about a career, consider speaking to a member of the Careers Network team and book an appointment.

Take action

Once you have made some decisions about your next steps you will need to make them happen.

  • To find out about the types of opportunities available, and where to find them, visit Find jobs and work experience.
  • To search for vacancies log in to Target Connect.
  • Once you know where you are heading, visit Make applications for how to make an impression in CVs, applications and interview processes.

For further topics and resources to help you explore your career options, click on the links below: