The explore stage is for those who are starting to think about life after university, but haven’t got concrete ideas about what to do next.

If you are at this stage, you may like to develop awareness of your strengths and priorities, gain insight and inspiration by learning more about your career options, and seek further support.

Understanding yourself

Good career decision-making involves understanding yourself, whether that’s through self-reflection or trying things out. By understanding yourself better, you will have an improved idea of what careers may be right for you.

Consider spending time reflecting on your personality, motivations, strengths, and values. You might ask things like:

  • What are my best qualities, and what could I work on?
  • What do others say are my strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are there some things I’m particularly committed to or flexible about?
  • What motivates me, especially in a professional or academic context? What do I enjoy?
  • What have I found most rewarding about my degree or programme of study? What have I found less appealing?

You could test out what you enjoy by joining university societies, volunteering your time or undertaking part-time work.

To help you understand yourself, you could also consider taking a personality test:

  • 16Personalities – offers a description of who you are and why you do things the way you do.
  • O*NET Interest Profiler – helps you work out what your interests are and how they relate to the world of work.
  • VIA Strengths Survey - provides a wealth of information to help you understand your character strengths.

Gaining insight and inspiration

It can be helpful to gain insight and inspiration about what your career path might be. To do this, you can look to generate a variety of ideas of what that career could look like.

Consider reflecting on the skills that your degree has given you, and then use Prospects’ ‘What can I do with my degree?’ page, as well as the Careers Centre’s own page and Prospects’ career planner, to match those skills to specific career sectors. When doing this, bear in mind that most employers do not demand that applicants have specific degrees. Rather, they are looking for transferable, ‘soft’ skills, which can be learned in many degree programmes.

Further inspiration can be gained from looking at the destinations of St Andrews graduates from the same or similar degree programme to you. You could also talk to them directly: consider joining Saint Connect and using LinkedIn to do this.

Seeking support

Exploring future possibilities can sometimes be challenging. You don’t need to have any firm career ideas in order to  to talk to the Careers Centre team. Careers advisers are available every weekday (including during the summer) to help you figure out your next step – consider booking an appointment.


Login to Careers360 for further advice and resources on the explore stage of the Career Journey.


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