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Life after University

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How can I utilise career planning after I have graduated? 

Why is it important?

Career Planning is a continuous process that doesn’t stop once you’ve secured your graduate job. It is a great way to ensure your career is going in the right direction. By evaluating where you are and what you want, you’ll be able to identify and fill any gaps in your knowledge or experience that might be holding you back from your dream job or promotion.

Career plans can help whether you are still studying, you’ve recently graduated, you want a promotion or wish to change careers. A career plan simply ensures your actions are in line with your goals.

Career Plans also help organise your thoughts and your understanding of the industry/area of study you are in, deepening your knowledge, directing decision making and shaping the course you take in your professional and personal life to achieve your objectives.

Career planning helps you to:

  • Set and work towards a longer-term goal
  • Choose options that interest you and suit your needs
  • Seek opportunities that allow you to develop your skills, knowledge or experience
  • Understand if continuous professional development could enable you to progress further in your career or change your career

This requires having a good understanding of yourself, your skills and motivations. You will need to remain resilient and flexible to unplanned opportunities/experiences.

Making a career plan: 

  • Assess your career options: prioritise your choice based on your strengths, interests and values. Also consider the importance of factors like salary, work culture, hours and commute time.
  • Understand and list your current skills, abilities and experience: this will help you to understand what career paths may suit you and whether you need to gain further training, experience or development.
  • Explore some occupational options that suit you and gather information about them.
  • Set some goals and actions: Once you have an idea of your ideal career path and development need, set some goals. These can be long or short, big or small goals. These will help you to draw up a list of actions. For more information on setting these, search for information on creating SMART goals.
  • Use deadlines to motivate you. These deadlines can be specific or broad complete Specialist exam in Excel by the end of June (specific) I will apply for promotion in the next 12 – 18 months(broad).
  • Keep checking back and revisiting your plan so you stay on track and adapt to changing circumstances - keep asking yourself ‘What can I do today that will help me work towards my career goals?

For further help making a career plan, please contact the Careers Team

Can I receive careers support from the University after I have graduated? 

As a Staffordshire Graduate, wherever life takes you, remember that the Careers Team is here to support you every step of the way. So, whether you need help developing your CV or preparing for interviews. Or further down the line, you consider a change of career or want to return to work after a career break, keep us in mind!

We have a range of online resources at, or you can drop-in to the Career Studio in the Science Centre, to speak to one of our Career Coaches.

Telephone and online appointments are also available if you do not live locally, email us at or call 01782 294991 to arrange.

How can I remain involved with the University after I have graduated?

As a Staffordshire Graduate you play a lead role in our success. We are proud of our Alumni and have a number of ways that you can stay involved with the university.

Visit for all information and for access to Staffordshire University Alumni Online, our online portal for all our graduates. Keeping in touch and updating your details has never been easier. Sign up today to join our thriving global community.

You’ll be able to update your details, sign up for alumni e-communications and manage your email preferences.

What is the Graduate Outcomes survey?

Use your student voice after you’ve graduated.

Graduate surveys are a part of the fabric of any university and are used to measure success by exploring what students have gone on to do after their studies.

It importantly provides data that contributes to the University’s positioning in league tables and offers better understanding of the higher education sector and current trends within the graduate jobs market.

So essentially, you can help to influence the sector as a whole and your opinions will help us to shape our courses for future generations and the results impact how employers view your qualification and the University.

You will be contacted 15 months after graduation to complete the Graduate Outcomes survey, so if your preferred email address or telephone number has changed, please email them to