The key is to balance plans with being flexible; work and professions change at a rapid pace. Be read to change with them. You can use the DOTS model to help you think of ideas.

Step 1 - Clarify your skills

You’ll also need to look at what skills you have right now.  To identify these:

► Try this easy to use skills audit.

Or use this employability skills list (PDF) to identify your skills and personal attributes. Begin to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and figure out the skills you need for future jobs.

If you need to start adding to your experiences to build work-related skills, go to the ‘Make Yourself Employable’ [link] section and explore RMIT career programs that can really boost your employability.

Step 2 - Research and make descisions

All decision-making involves some risk. These steps may help you become clearer in your thoughts.  Be prepared to take a risk, and re-assess your goals if things don't go to plan – there's often more than one path to your destination.

  • Identify your goal.
  • Explore all options and courses of action.
  • Search for information.
  • Evaluate every possible outcome.
  • Let all the information sit for a while.
  • Make your decision.

Here is an example of how to create a SMART goal

Laura's example goal

I am a second year fashion student and would like to work in New York in the fashion industry.

Is Laura's goal SMART?

Laura's career goal to work in New York is very general. If Laura is going to achieve her career goal she needs to make it more specific. One of the key questions Laura has to ask is when does she want to go to New York and why?

Laura's goal setting plan

Laura has decided that she would like to gain some experience during her studies so that she can increase her chances of getting a great job when she graduates.

Revised SMART goal

To gain one semester of work experience in the fashion industry in New York during the third year of my degree.

Now that the goal is more specific Laura can begin to develop an action plan.

Action By When Resources required
Make an appointment with the program coordinator of the Business postgraduate program March Program coordinator

Visit the, International Internships website to research internship opportunities and country recruitment requirements.

March International internships
Contact the Education Abroad Unit about exchanges to New York March N/A
Visit the USA embassy re visas April N/A
Research companies on the internet Feb ongoing N/A
Subscribe to New York fashion trade magazines Ongoing N/A

Talk to a USA exchange student about living and working in the USA

Action By When Resources required
Visit STA Travel to establish costs March N/A

Visit the RMIT Finance and Scholarships website to investigate any  scholarships available.

March Scholarships

Calculate costs and plan a weekly budget to save using a budget calculator.

N/A Scholarships
Action By When Resources required
Develop a resume targeted to the USA  market



Visit USA careers service websites to pick up tips on going for job interviews in America.



Visit USA careers service websites to pick up tips on how to find internships/work in America



David's example goal

I want to undertake a career change from nursing to business, as I want to have a more challenging and financially rewarding career.

This is how David begins to develop an action plan.

Action By When Resources required

Make an appointment with the program coordinator of the Business postgraduate program

 August Program Coordinator

Make an appointment with a careers consultant to discuss career outcomes in the business industry and undertake a personality assessment to match my personality to certain job roles in business

Research career options by looking at careers resources

Late August




Careers Consultant


Contact Human Resources / employer to conduct an information interview at a reputable company

Late September Contact details of HR or employer

Schedule another appointment with a careers consultant to discuss my research findings and possible next steps to take

October Careers Consultant
Action By When Resources required

Obtain enrolment dates, costs and other related information

of the application procedure


Late October Info Corner
Fill in enrolment application online and submit it before the due date End of October Access to the internet
Wait for Letter of Offer. Once I receive it, I will formally accept the offer January Access to the internet 
Commence program March Requested study materials