Thoroughly researching your career ideas will enable you to make better informed career decisions and, ultimately, better applications. Once you have a few career ideas, it is important to develop your understanding of each option.

What to Research

For each job type, assess your understanding of:

  • what it involves, such as typical tasks and job responsibilities
  • the skills, work experience and qualifications required
  • possible routes into the job
  • salary and conditions
  • the location, likely numbers of opportunities and levels of competition (job market)
  • possibilities for career progression, training and development

Be prepared to challenge your understanding of each job type. Think about where you gained your knowledge (for example, family, friends, work experience, websites, media and social media), and how reliable and representative these sources are.

How to Research Your Career Ideas

To find further information, select a job type from the list on this page. You will then see a list of recommended resources for researching that job type.

You may also find it useful to look at our resources for Researching your Career Ideas. These resources include websites with searchable video clips and text job descriptions.

In addition, make use of your network of contacts. Speak to people you know about your areas of interest and widen your network by asking them for suggestions of further contacts who might be of help. Access our guidelines on the etiquette of networking and how to make use of it successfully.

Comparing and Prioritising Your Career Ideas

Once you have developed your understanding of a range of job types, it can be helpful to compare your most likely career options. This will help you to prioritise and plan which options you want to pursue further. As a starting point, use our interactive decision making tool to help compare your ideas. This tool is also available to download in PDF format here: instructions and worksheet.

Turning Your Ideas into Opportunities

Identifying a set of clearly defined and relevant actions will help you to turn your career ideas into real opportunities. Setting yourself goals can help you to achieve a wide range of plans from developing skills necessary for job types which interest you to making sure you meet application deadlines.

You can set yourself goals to develop your:

  • skills
  • qualifications
  • work experience
  • network of contacts
  • awareness of job and work experience opportunities
  • … and many more.

Use our Setting SMART Goals guide to help you identify your next steps and keep you on course to achieve your career objectives.