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Find support for your career and make connections Build your future with career confidence

Having the support of others and knowing where you can get practical help will make you feel more confident in your career decisions and job applications.

Careers and Employability Services are here to support you throughout your studies and for three years after completing. Find out more about the service and how to get in touch at About the Careers and Employability Services. There’s also lots of other support available across the OU. Family, friends and work colleagues can be helpful in recognising your skills and your OU tutor can give you feedback about how you approach study. Below is an example of a student’s mind map of sources of support. Try creating your own mind map.

An example of a student’s mind map of sources of support for career help.
An example of a student’s mind map of sources of support for career help.

Making connections to help your career

Making and developing contacts can be an effective way to find out about opportunities and gain knowledge and tips about a particular job role or sector.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the idea of ‘networking’, you’re not alone. Many students feel the same and you don’t have to be a really confident extrovert to be able to make some useful contacts. You may have other strengths that lend themselves to connecting with people one-to-one, such as being a good listener, an interest in people, or being well prepared. There are also lots of ways to make contacts which aren’t face-to-face, such as using social media, attending online events, or joining professional bodies, student societies or local and national organisations related to your career interests.

Go to our Networking for your career page that has lots of advice, activities and resources to help you find and build connections to help your career. Get familiar with OpportunityHub to find out about OU careers events such as our networking workshops, employer events, careers fairs, and opportunities including voluntary work and work experience. It's also a good idea to ‘follow’ your favourite employers to keep-to-date with their opportunities.

You could try a ‘creative’ or ‘speculative’ approach when exploring opportunities by contacting organisations directly. Just because they might not be advertising, doesn’t mean that they don’t have any opportunities. Go to Applying for jobs without adverts to find out more about the ‘hidden jobs market’.

Last updated 1 year ago