UW Graduate School

January 4, 2018

Quick Tips for Fitting in Career Planning

Welcome back to all graduate students at Bothell, Seattle, and Tacoma campuses! We at Core Programs hope you created intentional space for yourself to relax and enjoy the holiday break. The start of a new calendar year is often a time to look ahead and set intentions that help you do well personally, academically and in your work life (current and future).

It can feel like a lot, but we know from experience that doing a little at a time can make a big project more manageable. Below are a few strategies you can incorporate into your weekly routine, so that intentional career planning becomes part of your graduate student experience.

Engage in self-exploration.  Across the UW, grad programs provide students with varying degrees (and breadth) of career guidance. Regardless of your discipline, career planning is an important life-long skill to learn and hone throughout your graduate school journey and beyond. To start get you started, consider doing assessments of your skills, interests, values, and strengths. These assessments can help you identify sectors, jobs and work environments that are a good match for you.

Break down each task. We see—and hear you—that you are busy fulfilling requirements for your degree, working a part-time or full-time job, and/or taking care of loved ones. Yet it’s also still true that only you can invest time in your career development before you graduate. Consider carving out 15 minutes in your schedule once a week to (1) make a list of careers you’re interested and the skills they require, (2) search and make note of professionals on LinkedIn who work in those careers, then soon after, (3) explore company or organization websites to get a feel for what they offer, and (4) set up a 30-min. informational interview with one of the individuals on your list, and so many more leads once you get started.

Utilize a range of resources that fits your availability.  Schedule an appointment with a career counselor at your UW campus for in-person guidance on developing concrete strategies for your career exploration. Come talk to any of us at Core Programs (Skype appointments available too). If it’s difficult for you to schedule an in-person appointment, get acquainted with free online career planning tools such as ImaginePhD or myIDP—each with their own assessments as well. Attend a graduate student career development event offered by a career center at Bothell or Seattle—and be on the lookout for upcoming events sponsored or co-organized by Core Programs!

Getting stuck—or did you discover an awesome career exploration tool? Let us know! And happy launch into 2018!

Best,

Core Programs Team
#UWGradSuccess