Attending school & completing school

Job Planning


A process of self-evaluation can help you define your career preferences, to analyse what is important to you in a job and the organisation that employs you, and be better prepared for the interview itself. This exercise will also help you gain a greater awareness of your potential and the value of study.
While the nature of work varies from job to job, you should set out clearly data on the following four areas. This information should be taken into account in assessing what you require of work and what you have to offer prospective employers:

  • Qualifications.
  • Interests.
  • Skills.
  • Values


You need to set out clearly the qualifications you possess as a result of your years of formal study -the course pursued, the subjects studied and the pass levels which you attained.
The special knowledge gained in one area of your course may make you particularly attractive to certain employers. The lack of emphasis in another area may limit the range of jobs for which you would be considered.
Next, you should set out the reasons that motivated you to choose the course, choose the subjects, and drop subjects or change direction during the course. These things are not ‘water under the bridge’:

  • They are questions you may be asked during interviews. Employers want people, not just qualifications.
  • They help you to determine the direction of your job search, as indicated by your choice of subjects.


Interests are identified as areas of activity that you find personally fulfilling. Your interests can cover a number of areas, such as your leisure interests and the subjects studied in your course.
The following list of key interest areas will help you classify your own interests:

  • Artistic/Creative
  • Clerical/Administrative
  • Computational
  • Engineering/Technical
  • Literary
  • Manual/Practical
  • Community Service
  • Medical
  • Outdoor
  • Personal Contact
  • Scientific
  • List your interests in order of importance to you.


You are of value to certain employers because you have acquired particular skills through the subject area you studied. However, employers also look for functional skills, which they assume you will have acquired during study or when you were working.
You should list the activities you have been engaged in and then try to translate them into functional skills attractive to employers. The following examples illustrate this approach. You should be able to expand and personalise them.

Structuring your time so as to meet deadlines for projects: work programming.
Completing research projects: collection and analysis of data.
Presenting tutorial seminar papers: oral communication .
Writing case studies or: analytical essays report writing.
Collecting information to write research papers: locating and using resources.
Other Activities

You may have acquired marketable skills while doing other jobs or through voluntary activities. Again, you should list the activities you have been engaged in and then try to translate them into functional skills.
Examples include:

  • Supervising staff
  • Customer relations
  • Cash control
  • Stock control
  • Purchasing
  • Sales
  • Social and sporting
  • Committee work
  • Travel arrangement
  • Team management
  • Self-expression (drama)

All of the skills mentioned can be categorised further under such headings as:

  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ability to carry responsibility
  • Initiative
  • Competitiveness

The list of skills categorised above can be embodied in your job application. When completed, this self-evaluation will help you draw your own profile, emphasising your good points. It will serve as a guide in your search for a job suited to your needs and capabilities.

If you have had any previous work experience, whether or not it is related to the job advertised, it may interest an employer. Include it in your application, saying briefly what the job was, whether it was part- time or full-time, permanent or casual, and what your responsibilities were. Be prepared when interviewed to comment on the job, to say how you got on in it, and what you learnt from it.

If you have had the chance of practical work experience in a voluntary job, this too can help when you look for permanent work.


In listing your values in life, you are looking at the factors that will strongly influence your decision as to where you look for jobs and what will motivate you when you are working.
You should ask yourself what basic values in life are most important to me and which would give me satisfaction in a job?
These values may influence you to look for a job that will eventually lead to:

  • Fame
  • Wealth
  • Security
  • The scope to exercise authority
  • The need to produce something tangible .challenge
  • A particular lifestyle.
  • Challenge.

You may be guided by a number of these or other values. It would be useful to list them in some order of priority.


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