Understanding your sector
Understanding your sector

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Understanding your sector

Week 1: Where are you now?


Welcome to Week 1 of the free badged course Understanding your sector – and congratulations! You have taken the first important step in thinking about your chosen employment sector, its structure and the factors that affect it.

Investigating these areas will not only help you to perform better in your current role, with possible implications for your career progress, but also improve your knowledge of other roles or organisations that you might want to move into. Employers are impressed by applicants who can talk in an informed way about their organisation and its surrounding context, so this understanding will help you in applications and interviews.

Watch Lynne Johnson as she introduces Week 1. Lynne works in the Careers Service at The Open University and has worked in adult career guidance for over twenty years.

Download this video clip.Video player: boc_uys_1_video_week1_intro.mp4
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Welcome to Week 1 of the course. In this first week, you’ll be thinking about the differences between various sectors, industries and professions. You’ll also be finding out why it’s so important to have a good understanding of your own sector and how it relates to other sectors. By exploring these areas, you’ll not only be able to improve the career progression you could make, but you’ll improve your knowledge of other jobs or organisations that you might be considering. The course will also help you identify what you’re trying to do, whether that’s find a job, get a promotion or maybe change direction to something completely new. It will help you explore ways to make the time you need to keep up with an ever-changing sector and career landscape and help you to be better prepared for applications and interviews.
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As suggested in the Introduction and guidance [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , it is recommend that you record your responses to the activities throughout the course. As part of the course, you have been provided with an interactive toolkit in which you can keep your notes together. You will be directed to different parts of the toolkit at specific points throughout the course. However, if you’d prefer to use a notebook that is, of course, also fine.

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • describe the differences between a job, a profession, an industry/business and a sector
  • outline how these overlap and provide a different perspective on your own situation
  • describe how understanding this ‘bigger picture’ can help with generating career options
  • identify areas of interest based on your current situation and your knowledge of the bigger picture
  • schedule time in your diary for these activities and use this time effectively.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.


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