Career Goat: Should I start thinking about my career?

Hi Lisa! I’m in my 5th year of a 4 year double degree, my grades are pretty average, and right now I’m just focused on getting through. Should I be thinking about my career now, and what should I be doing? Sincerely, Tim

Dear Tim,

Thank you so much for your question. It is really important to start thinking about your career now. It doesn’t need to be arduous task. I have a 15/5 rule so 15 minutes a day 5 days a week. There is a career model (SODI) that can be used as a tool to start with the 15/5.

1. Self-awareness

Analyse things about your self. Think about your skills, knowledge and interests. It is important to start to identify your transferable/employability skills that you have developed in your degree, extra-curricular and work experiences. (See link below).

  • Recently when I was at a careers festival I spoke to a number of employers who mentioned that they like to see a well-rounded student who has developed skills and experience (ie: Uni involvement, retail work etc..) and that academic results are not necessarily the key factor.

2. Opportunity-Awareness:

Start to look at what career opportunities are available. A good starting point is the ‘Using Your Degree’ flyers. This lists companies, professional associations and job websites. My Future is also a useful site as you can search occupations and look at the skills and job outlook. Start to also attend industry and career events and nights such as our Science Industry Week (24th-28th August) and Professional Transition Program (August – September). Making contacts in industry is also important because almost 70% of jobs are not advertised.

Helpful Links:

3. Decision Making

Once you have started to work through step 1&2 you need to decide which of the options is right for you. Develop an action plan and start to set SMART goals. The plan below can be adapted and used as a starting point.

4. Implementation and Transition

The final step in the process is to implement your plan and so you are ready to transition into the workforce. Start to undertake the following steps:

  • Develop your professional profile including: resume, cover letter and LinkedIN.
  • Start to practice your interview techniques. Our new online tool ‘Interview Stream’ can help with this.
  • Continue to develop your networks. (LinkedIN, face to face).
  • Continue to search for jobs.
  • Join a professional associations: Many of these relate to the industry you might be interested in and take the advantage now and join as a student member. Great for building networks, professional skills, developing industry knowledge and awareness.

Helpful Links:

Good luck Tim Goat and if you need further help please book a career appointment.



This is part of a series of questions that our Science Careers Consultant, Lisa Happell, has answered relating to the career-related struggles that students face. 

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