Breaking the 4th wall: What’s a student’s journey through careers appointments like? 

You hear about careers services and appointments… but sometimes you just don’t know what to expect. Is it for you? What if you don’t really know how to describe your situation in the first place? In this blog, we’re hoping to break the fourth wall and discuss what really happens at a careers guidance appointment. 

Table, on top of which is a few glassesPicture this scenario… 

 Ahmed, a second-year undergraduate student, wants to explore his career choices and is considering the Banking sector. He tells the CC he has no idea where to start, who to ask or what to do. He seems worried about getting into such a “high-flying” sector but thinks this is the best option for him to be able to support his family.  

 He mentions that he has thought about a creative job but knows his parents want him to go into banking. He states that it would be selfish of him to choose the creative sector and he would let his parents down as he must help support his parents take care of his younger siblings and to be a good role model for them as he is the first to go to university. 


 What happened next? 

 Every student has a different situation where they may be coming from – but read on about how Ahmed’s experience was like with the Careers Service. Maybe having a similar process available to you could help actualise your next steps forward.  


The initial visit 

 In Ahmed’s initial appointment (20 mins) him and the careers consultant were able to summarise where Ahmed was today, and what his concerns were about careers planning. Based on this chat, it looked like more time to discuss would be beneficial to get even more clarity. 


The second appointment 

 We then referred him for a longer guidance appointment (1 hour) where we used the time to ask questions about his motivations and interests. Understanding the family pressure to join a ‘stable and secure’ sector was especially explored – just to consider how that all felt, and how the student wanted to approach this going forward. Much of this time was centred around the pressure of expectations and we took a few breaks to allow him to gather some thoughts and talk about how he was feeling. 

Wondering how to figure out your motivations and interests? Need some guiding questions to get reflecting and mapping them out? The check out our KEATS online course!


Exploring interests 

 We then moved on to thinking about what he meant when he spoke of an interest in the ‘creative sector’. What was his understanding of it and where did he place himself within his interest? As we had identified financial stability as a key priority we were keen to work with Ahmed to explore areas of work in this sector that would satisfy this requirement 


Leaving with a plan and a confident attitude 

 We discussed next steps, thinking strategically about the time he would spend on researching, information interviewing and building his networks in the creative sector. Once these actions were agreed, Ahmed was confident with his progress and agreed to make a follow up appointment further along his journey to review the progress so far and discuss what he would focus on next. 

When you break plans down to snall tangible steps you can feel more reassured and see progress. But in order to find direction, decisions have to be made. We have a helpful online course to help you develop Decision-making skills for your career.  


Now, it’s your turn…  

Ahmed’s case study is just one example of a King’s student actualising their next career steps after an appointment (or two!). Wherever you are in your career journey, whether it’s discovering what you might be interested in, to focusing your options and taking action for your next steps, our careers support and education resources are here to help. To visit our appointments, go to King’s CareerConnect, press ‘Book’ and select ‘Careers Guidance Appointment’.