How to Manage Your Career in an Uncertain World

This blog focuses on helping people who may be unsure how to plan their careers in an uncertain world following the corona virus pandemic.

This could be particularly relevant today if you are:

  •  Starting out on your career
  •  You have recently been made redundant
  •  You are considering a career change
  •  You have been furloughed. The scheme has now been extended to March 2021. Will I still be needed?

Alistair Stirling, of Stirling Careers Consultancy, works with a range of clients at different stages of their careers.  For those who find it  difficult to plan and manage their careers we introduce them to the Four Stage model.

What is the Four Stage Model?

This model is used extensively in both higher education and the health service to help professionals to plan their careers but it can be applied to anybody struggling to plan their careers.  The article will discuss in more detail these four stages of career planning:

  • Self-assessment
  • Career exploration
  • Decision making
  • Plan and implementation


This first stage helps the client to understand who they are and understand their values, skills, strengths and areas for development. 

Career Exploration

Having completed the self-assessment stage, the client will now start to have some career ideas. These can be researched online or in the local library. Talk to people who are doing your proposed roles and if possible,  shadow them in action to ensure the job is right for you. Consider future employment prospects as we start to emerge from the pandemic as this has changed the labour market quite considerably. You will then need to consider different sectors are working in different ways; for example, many people are now working from home. In the work place staff members use  new hygiene regulations and social distancing measures.   Some clients we have  worked with have had career ideas but not had the confidence to discuss these ideas with friends or family or do not know how to go about researching their career ideas. We are able to discuss these ideas with the client in a confidential manner that will enable them to explore them in more detail and start to formulate an action plan going forward.

Having gone through the self assessment and career exploration stages some clients may still be uncertain of their career path or want further confirmation this career is right for them. We then introduce them to psychometric assessments. They complete a range of online assessments. After completing the assessments,  they receive a detailed report highlighting 12/13 possible careers.  We then work with the client to help them narrow their choice to 3/4 possible career choices and assist them in taking these ideas forward.

Decision Making

Having identified three or four possible career ideas we then discuss with the client how they have made decisions in the past.  This is an important step.  We ask the client to reflect back and think about how they have made important career decisions in the past. Some may have made key decisions by writing down the advantages and disadvantages and then possibly scoring the answers. A few clients rely on their gut instincts.  We do say to clients to weigh up their options carefully. Having narrowed the choice right down the client is then able to move onto the final stage.

Plan Implementation

The final stage involves having a targeted job search plan and applying for jobs.  To do this make sure the curriculum vitae is relevant and up to date. We support clients to put an effective CV together, give support with job hunting, and at interview stage, we help them prepare and succeed at interview. After the interview we help the client to evaluate the interview and if appropriate, we help them prepare for the next stage of handling a job offer.

 We have some clients who just start at stage four and apply for everything and anything.  It is really important that clients complete all four stages. This will help them identify the right career for them and ensure their energy is clearly focussed in the right career direction. When it comes to applying for jobs  and going for interviews, they will already have covered some of the preparatory work.

We may then support the client with their on-boarding process.  We are able to provide an objective view from outside the organisation. We can also  help them clarify their objectives and ensure they are achievable.

We do believe it is important to choose a career you are going to enjoy and you feel passionate about.

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