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Reflect

The first step is all about you: who you are, what your skills and talents are, how you get motivated and energised, what values underpin your preferences, what your needs are.

If you're not naturally inclined to such reflective thinking, try not to dismiss it as fluffy navel-gazing or as something which you can breeze past with only limited thought. Self-reflection is a rigorous, at times challenging, process one which needs to be approached carefully if it's going to have real value.

To get you started, here are three sets of prompt questions for you to think through. Try to avoid the trap of superficial answers. For example, it's easy to say that you chose your current degree because you liked the subject at school, but that level of insight can only take you so far especially if your subject doesn't align neatly with a recognised profession. What is it about your subject that interests you? Which specific aspects of the subject are most satisfying to you, and why? Which are least satisfying to you, and why?

Prompt questions for self-reflection

Top tip: write your answers down. Most of us don't have good answers to these questions at our fingertips: capture on paper whatever thoughts you do have and allow yourself to come back to them later. Use the intervening time to think some more and observe yourself in your day-to-day activities.