Chapter 33 Review questions answer guidance

1. Find out what employability and careers support is available to you within your institution. What is on offer as part of your criminology course, and what services are provided centrally? Make a note of your findings and consider how and when you might take advantage of the various services and opportunities.

You might first identify what is available via your university employability or careers office. There may be an online hub where you can browse resources and look at any events such as careers fairs or specialist employer events, like those organised by police or other criminal justice bodies. You should also investigate any extra-curricula programmes or awards run by your employability/careers office or your department, which provide structured ways of developing and demonstrating your employability skills and careers knowledge. If you have activities organised as part of your course or module, you should take advantage of these and may have less research to do for yourself. Look at your module and course pages and talk to your tutors about the employability activities on offer.

2. Practice using Gibbs’s reflective cycle. Select a recent or forthcoming activity from your course—ideally something that is assessed—and work your way through each of the steps in the cycle. How did you find the process? How might you use it in future to support your personal development?

Gibbs’ reflective cycle, discussed at 33.2, helps you to reflect on your current knowledge, skills, and attributes to identify your strengths and the areas you need to improve. For example, you might have a presentation as part of your course and be less than keen on this kind of activity. But presentation skills can be important to employers and many professional jobs will require a presentation as part of the selection process. Using Gibbs’ cycle will help you describe what happened during the presentation, explore your feelings about the presentation both before and afterwards, evaluate what went well or badly, analyse why certain things went well or not so well, and conclude with what you learned from the experience. Finally, you can develop an action plan for what to do the next time you are asked to do a presentation, based on the learning from this experience. Applying these principles should feed into the development of an effective personal development plan.

3. Apply the ‘RARE’ framework (reflect, assess, react, evaluate) to assess your current employability, and build an action plan for your personal development. If you have yet to engage with career development learning to any meaningful extent, we suggest that you focus on the seven key characteristics discussed in Section 33.3. You can add to your RARE document once you have a better idea of the specific points you’ll need for your preferred career paths.

The RARE framework provides a structured approach to personal development planning. If you go through the framework (discussed in detail at section 33.5) and answer the questions at each stage, you should be able to develop a clear action plan. You may not be able to do this fully yet; for example, you may not have a full idea of the graduate employability expectations of your chosen field and may need to do some research to identify these. But by working through the RARE model you will be able to identify areas where you need to do further research and what you need to focus on. As with all aspects of employability and career learning, the earlier you begin, the better the outcomes are likely to be. As the question suggests, you can begin by looking at your progress against the key transferable skills that most employers value, detailed in section 33.3.

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