It could be said that popular culture has made phrases like ‘Find your passion’ and ‘follow your passion’ synonymous with careers and the world of work. Although it may inspire some, it also overwhelms many, as it suggests that passion is a singular entity that we should be able to identify – an all or nothing concept. But I would argue that passion is an evolving and multi-faceted concept. For many, rather than searching for a ‘passion’, it can help to instead emphasise the value of calling upon and harnessing your curiosity. This can help you start to navigate the world of work and help you make some of your early career decisions.
Curiosity is a super skill; be conscious of it and cultivate it. It is relevant to everyone and can slide on a scale from investigating a diverse range of careers, right down to investigating the nuance of a particular career that you may already aspire to. Any future employer will want to see an informed interest in and enthusiasm for the job role, organisation and sector; utilizing curiosity will help you show this. The current situation is changing the labour market; exactly how is still evolving.
However, the future starts now so understanding the recent landscape is valuable. Although some recruitment has been cancelled, much has been deferred or continues. Recruitment will still happen in the future. Do not abandon your aspirations but harnessing curiosity could also help you monitor this and consider options not previously on your radar. You may even find new (dare I say the word?) ‘passions’.
So let’s get down to the practical nitty-gritty. Below are some useful tips and resources to help you research career possibilities. Don’t get overwhelmed with information and feel that you have to make quick decisions. Remember you are not alone. It can be invaluable to make an appointment with an Employability Adviser to discuss your findings and thoughts on a more personalized level. All SHU students and graduates can make an appointment on UniHub.
Where to start
- Prospects.ac.uk has a great section about different career sectors and also more detailed job profiles that include case studies, links to professional bodies, specialist job sites and more.
- TARGETjobs has a good job sectors section containing industry-specific advice articles, info about areas/disciplines of work and more.
- Online resources that SHU students specifically have access to include Industry Insight videos and Career Pathway videos
Once you have some areas of interest you would like to investigate further, we recommend making an appointment to discuss with your Employability Adviser, but below is some food for thought.
- Professional bodies and Sector Skills Councils often have good careers advice sections, normally linked to on Prospects job profiles.
- There are some good blogs and podcasts, such as My Career Story, which encourages people to trust more in the career development and decision-making process, rather than stressing over getting it right the first time.
- Action research! Speak to people working in roles you may be interested in (tips here) and try out ideas through work shadowing or volunteering. This could be done virtually for now.
Originally written by Laura Kerley is an Employability Adviser at Sheffield Hallam University