Student Toolkit

Reflecting on my personal employability

Many approaches to employability focus on the development of a particular set of skills or competencies in order to meet the requirements of employers at a particular point in time.  While meeting employer expectations is key to employability, sticking to a list of skills that can be gained from a particular activity or experience can lead to individuals all ‘looking’ the same and can often seem trite or manufactured.

Instead, the opposite should be true.

Your personal employability is a culmination of your experiences, beliefs, attitudes, passions, personal characteristics, competencies, achievements and disappointments.  All of these things shape your employability because they play a role in how you approach new situations and what you can learn from them, and because of this it will always be unique and personal, even when some of the experiences you have had, seem on the surface, to be a lot like those that someone else may have had.

Some self-reflection at the early stages of your study can help you to determine where you currently sit along your employability journey and identifies what steps you can take now to develop yourself further.

Self-audits and assessments can be helpful at this stage, especially if you are not sure what direction you would like your career to take or are confused by all of your options.

A good way to understand your starting point is to undertake a strengths or values analysis.  Strengths assessments or values and motivation assessments can help you to consider particular elements of your personality and working style that might help you with career decisions.

There are many resources available that can help you to determine what is important to you, what you are good at, and what you want to work towards.  Some are listed below or you can contact your university’s Employability or Careers centre, or your local Career Development Association for a list of Career Practitioners in your area.