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 decisions

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.

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.