By Louise Drake, Psychology Careers Connector.
Thinking about your career, at any point during your degree, can feel like a daunting prospect. In first year, it feels much too early, in second year your schedule is chock-full, and in third year it all feels too late!
The Careers and Entrepreneurship team can help you at any point during your degree, and even afterwards, as the C&E team can offer you advice up to 3 years after you graduate. It’s never too late!
In terms of online presence, the C&E offer two websites:
CareerHub, and the main C&E site.
But where do you go first, and for what? In this blog post, myself and the C&E team have provided a breakdown of each site with advice on where to go for your specific set of career-related queries.
CareerHub is where you can book appointments with a Careers Consultant (more on that later!), see upcoming events, browse job and placement vacancies, and more. By clicking on the ‘Vacancies’ page, you can view all the job (part/full-time) vacancies, placement adverts, voluntary opportunities and more. It’s a great place to find and apply for jobs or just to get an idea of what’s out there to help your further research.
CareerHub is also where you can book appointments with a Careers Consultant. You can arrange a 20-minute appointment via telephone, Zoom, or in-person, either in advance or for the same day. You can book to see specific Consultants, who have different areas of speciality (Vicky Raynard is our Psychology Careers Consultant) or just check ‘Any’ if you don’t have a preference. You can then pick a specific topic to discuss, such as interview preparation, finding part-time work, postgraduate study, and many more – or you can just pick ‘Careers’ if you don’t know what you want to ask about. If you’d rather speak to someone over email, you can click ‘Ask a Question’ at the top of the CareerHub site to submit your questions via email.
These appointments can be great for making contact with someone in the working world who can help broaden your perspective, which is probably narrowed by being stuck in a University for so many years and with the stress that brings, especially working within a pandemic, which we have all had to do.
Careers & Entrepreneurship Website
Now, we’ll take a look at the Careers site embedded within the UoS website, which is a good catch-all to direct you to where you need to go: you can also find links to CareerHub and SkillsHub here.
When you go to this page, you’ll see a huge amount of options directing you to different sites, resources and more.
For career choices, and information related to your specific degree, take a look at ‘Making Career Choices’. Here, you can look at Job Sector Guides, Using Your Degree
and see info about further study you might look into. If you’re not sure where to start, click Making Career Choices, and then ‘What stage are you at with your career planning?’. Here you can pick between choices such as ‘I’m not ready to start thinking about my career yet’, ‘I have a career in mind, but I’m not sure how to get there’ and more. The page will then take you to suggestions tailored to your specific situation. For example, if you click ‘I have a career in mind, but I’m not sure how to get there’, you will be directed to the Job Sector Guides, where you can find sector overviews and job profiles to help you find out more about what is involved, as well as training routes and ways to gain experience. There are also directive goals suggested, such as getting in touch with people in your desired career over Sussex Connect, or volunteering during your studies to gain relevant work experience.
This tool is really fantastic as you can get directed, tailored suggestions, instead of trawling through all the resources available to try and pick ones that will help you.
If you want to think about your career path starting from a more bottom-up approach (i.e. starting with you!), you can use the online questionnaires and personality tests linked on the C&E website (Making Career Choices; Your interests and motivations) to identify your strengths and skills and start thinking about your career that way. It’s often helpful to start this way and try to find a career that fits you, rather than trying to fit yourself into careers that might not be a great match.
SkillsHub is somewhere you can go with pretty much any academic problem you’re struggling with. From digital skills, critical thinking, writing essays, referencing guides – it’s got it all! I personally used SkillsHub when I was struggling with the Statistics module in my Psychology degree – unless you’re part of a lucky (and, I think, mythical) few, you’re probably struggling with Stats too. No worries – there’s no need to do it in your third year! (Apart from your dissertation, but that’s a whole other blog post). There’s links to resources, videos from lecturers specialising in that topic, and student perspectives too. SkillsHub is great to use when you don’t feel the need to reach out to a staff member (or maybe feel too scared to), as it focuses on self-directed learning and gives you real-life tips on how to improve your grades and confidence in your skills.
Lastly, you can find upcoming C&E events in lots of ways. You can see events on CareerHub, through the C&E’s Instagram page (@sussexunicareers), or through the C&E website (sussex.ac.uk/careers). The C&E team run a great timetable of events, most of which are open to all current students and recent graduates. Some examples of these events include ‘STEM Women’, ‘Time Management Webinar’, ‘Aspire: an event for students of Black heritage’, and so much more. I’d really recommend trying out one of these events, and many of them have online attendance options, which makes it all the easier to fit them into your schedule.
There is also a Canvas module specifically for Careers in Psychology, where you can access previous talks from professionals from different fields, current vacancies, career profiles and more.
If you’ve made it this far, well done! As you can tell, there are so many resources offered by the Careers & Entrepreneurship Centre it can all feel a bit daunting and like you’re not sure where to start. Hopefully, this blog post has helped to break down the different offerings into a more manageable source of information, and if there’s anything we’ve missed off, or you have a question about Careers in Psychology, please feel free to contact me Louise Drake, as the Psychology Careers Connector, and most importantly: you’ve got this!
This is a time of life where these things are bound to be scary and feel overwhelming. It’s a really good idea to put the effort in to utilise some of these resources to help alleviate your fears and get your questions answered.
Louise Drake is a final year Psychology Student and Careers Connector at the University of Sussex.
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