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Understanding your sector
Understanding your sector

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1 Reassessing your current situation

Described image
Figure 1

When you began this course you were asked to think about your current situation and your aims with respect to this. You were introduced to several scenarios including:

  • I’m working in a job that I dislike and would like to change.
  • I’m working in a job that is OK for now, but which I would like to leave soon.
  • I’m working in a job that I enjoy and in which I would like to progress.
  • I’m not working at the moment and I am seeking a particular type of employment.
  • I’m not working at the moment and I’m not sure what I will do next.

The object of this exercise was to help you to place your growing understanding of your sector into the kind of personal context that would make it more meaningful for you individually. Although developing your knowledge and understanding of your sector for its own sake might be rewarding, you will find it even more valuable if you are able to use it to progress your career. This will be the case regardless of your current situation.

If you are working but seeking to progress or change your career, then this knowledge will provide you with the context within which to do this and the confidence that you have researched your sector thoroughly and considered your options. Similarly, if you want to move on from your current employer, you will have a deeper awareness of the sector within which you work and the possibilities it contains, plus the confidence to apply for alternatives with conviction. Finally, if you are currently looking for work, imagining yourself in your preferred work environment will improve your confidence in making effective applications and handling interviews.

Of course, that may well have been several weeks ago, so perhaps it is timely to take stock of your current situation to see if anything has changed since Week 1.

Activity 1 Revisiting your first thoughts

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Think back to when you started the course and your situation then. Perhaps you were trying to progress with your current employer or thinking about moving into a new career completely.

Has your situation changed at all? Have you learned anything in the intervening weeks that has made you see things differently? Are your aspirations still very much the same or have they changed at all?

If you were new to thinking about your situation in this way, you may have used the Personal awareness tool in the Toolkit [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   to help you think about your goals and aspirations. If this is the case, or if you feel this would be helpful at this point, then take some time now to visit (or revisit) this tool and see how your ideas have developed during the duration of this course.

Make some notes on this in the table below.

Table 1 Has your situation changed?
Situation at start of courseCurrent situation Reasons for this change, if any
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To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Words: 0
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


This activity is to help you to refocus on your personal situation so there is no single correct response. It is likely that some things will have changed in the last few weeks and it is useful to establish where your current thinking places you.

This activity has allowed you to reassess your current position so that you have a baseline from which to start. You are now ready to go ahead with some action planning.