In the middle of assignments, dissertations, proposals and exams (we’re not even mentioning the pandemic), preparing diligently for your next career steps might not be on top of your long to-do list. In this blog, you’ll learn how you can keep on track with industries and build your career planning confidence with the time you have at the moment: checking out the 5 minimal-commitment steps leading you to a BIG impact!
Why is keeping up with industries now particularly important
With such rapid change all around us at the moment, there are lots of changes happening quite fast in lots of industries. This could be a change in the recruitment processes, the styles of working, or changes in the sector’s bigger picture.
But why is this important to me? Learning good techniques to find out what’s going on in industry areas will also bring more than just this labour market information – it helps with developing commercial awareness around what makes industries, sectors and businesses successful. And that’s great for multiple reasons.
Developing commercial awareness will help you to (1) evaluate whether this sector interests you, (2) ask targeted questions from employers during networking sessions and (3) impress your interviewers with knowledge about the hot topics of their profession.
Essentially, commercial awareness a bit like being “in with the crowd” – it’s about knowing what concepts to focus on when you are making connections, what language or technical terms are commonly used, and what daily experiences others working in the sector share.
Our 5 quick tips to building a habit for career research
Let’s talk about easy ways you can incorporate careers research and keep on top of industries, sectors and the professional circles related to your career interests.
Every time you open the browser: Bookmark Bar / New Tab functions
Minimal commitment: Add industry-relevant websites, LMI blogs and career sector guides to your browser’s bookmark bar or add websites as saved tabs that open when you first open the browser to remind yourself to keep reading. (We recommend bookmarking King’s Careers Blog and our KEATS page but that’s just us!)
Big Impact: It’s hard to build a habit, but you can remind yourself to keep checking out industry news by making it as easy and automated as possible. As weeks go by, spending even just 5 minutes reading news, exploring professional associations websites or checking out a new blog post, you will gain a lot of awareness about career sectors, and what are some of the hot topics going around.
The event series for you: Join a #MyNextSteps webinar
Minimal commitment: Book yourself to one career webinar from the #MyNextSteps series between April and June.
Big Impact: #MyNextSteps is our career webinar series addressing anxieties of current students, especially final years and recent graduates. You won’t be giving up much time by booking to one session, but the impact of attending will be huge. You’ll be hearing about relevant labour market information, skills that employers are looking for in graduates, and ways to build your employability through a reassuring discussion led by career professionals. Students and graduates can sign up to the #MyNextSteps workshops via Kings Career Connect now, with webinars starting from April 12th).
Part of your day already: incorporate careers into social media
Minimal commitment: Add industry-related content to your social media by liking, following or subscribing tactically!
Big impact: Whether you use LinkedIn or Tiktok, plenty of industry professionals are out there posting content, so why not follow them and get commercial awareness/LMI content as you scroll the phone? (Check out what KCL Alumnus, BBC journalist and multi-media professional Omar said about using social media to your career advantage on our blog!) Again, automation is your friend!
Straight to your email: industry newsletters!
Minimal commitment: Subscribe to newsletters from your favourite industry associations, organisations, charities or figureheads.
Big Impact: Another way to tie 5 minutes of commercial awareness into your day. Fancy finding articles in your inbox around the latest hot topics to your areas of interest? To find relevant newsletters, just search “newsletters + your industry” on Google or LinkedIn and see what comes up. This article from GoThinkBig also lists a few great examples of industry newsletters.
The magic word: growth mindset
Minimal commitment: Realise that starting over is part of successful career planning too.
Big Impact: Throughout the course of your career journey, you may find yourself in unexpected turns. Maybe you do research, and then find out that your interest is no longer feeling relevant, and you need to start over. That’s a perfectly normal part of career planning! Join us in developing a growth mindset and say this reassuring reminder to yourself: “I am building success, whether my career journey takes me where I plan to, or whether twists and turns help me find a better destination for myself.”
And that’s it for our 5 minimal commitment ways to help you keep up with career industries within a busy student schedule! Read more about Commercial Awareness on our KEATS.
Remember, it’s okay to feel confused or overwhelmed about the decisions and options out there – career research does take time and it’s fine to go slow. Whatever your pace is, remember that you’re still developing vital skills in the long-term and every small bit can make a difference. If you need support, we welcome you to book a careers guidance appointment via King’s CareerConnect.