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Understanding your sector
Understanding your sector

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3 What have you learned?

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Figure 3

The overall aim of this course has been to help you to understand your sector better in order to progress your career. You have done this in various ways over the last few weeks and now is the time, if you haven’t done this already, to bring this learning together so that you can construct an action plan tailored to your circumstances and requirements.

Take a few minutes here to remind yourself how recruiters explore your understanding of the sector at interview and the different areas you would need to understand for employers in the private and public sector. Listen to Rebecca and Charlie from Gradconsult discussing what they, as recruiters, are looking for in an applicant.

Download this video clip.Video player: boc_uys_1_video_week8_interview_fielding_reeve.mp4
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Let’s just recap now on the different avenues that you have explored during the course:

  • the global and international factors that affect your sector including political, economic, social and technological influences
  • the key elements that comprise your sector, most importantly your customers, competitors and your suppliers
  • sources of information and support that exist within and around your sector including professional and sector bodies, national and local government, trade bodies and trade unions
  • the benefits of networking and how to do this effectively
  • job markets and how these vary between sectors and industries
  • a SWOT analysis of your knowledge of yourself and the learning that has helped you to identify the implications for future options, including improving performance, gaining new qualifications and changing jobs or career.

You should be pleased that you have come so far and deserve congratulations for all your hard work!

If you have been tackling the activities included in each week’s section, you will have been compiling some thoughts and ideas already about all the above areas and their impact on your sector and, indirectly, on you. Even better, in your notebook you may have recorded other reflections to add to this collection.

Pause now and revisit your responses to all the activities by consulting your notebook or the Toolkit [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . What have you learned over the last few weeks about your sector that you feel might have implications for your career progress and planning?