What are your work values and why are they important?

Values are qualities considered to be the most important guiding principles that help set priorities in your career and life. They are highly personal and define what is purposeful and meaningful to you. Though values may change in response to life circumstances, they are generally thought to be enduring and provide a compass for setting goals and making decisions.

Identifying your values can help you identify what activities and environment you might enjoy working in, focus your career aims and understand the motivators that might drive your career choice

Would earning a lot of money make you happy? Despite the phrase, “money makes the world go around” it generally doesn’t lead to job satisfaction. It’s important to consider what you enjoy and what you want from a career while thinking about your future.

Values are the things that are really important to you. They are also the things which are important to organisations and you may see them proclaimed on websites. Many organisations are beginning to recruit people who seem to have values which are in line with theirs.

Here are some examples of things you may value:- Creativity – Autonomy – Justice – Fun – Achievement – Using skills – Continuous learning – Security – Work-Life balance – Money – Status

Some values are likely to be more important to you than others so that, for example, you may be willing to sacrifice ‘security’ in a job for ‘creativity’.

Finding a job which suits you can help to give you job satisfaction and feel happier.

Imagine going to work every day and feeling proud of what you achieve. You are doing something that is important to you and you strongly believe it is worthwhile. You feel at home in your workplace and it’s as if the job were made just for you.

Faith, Hope and (working for a) Charity….. 

Eddie Smith  BSc Mathematics graduate shares his experience of looking for a role in the third sector

As a Christian, I believe that God has called me to leave a positive impact on the world. It is my belief that this calling applies in all aspects of my life, and so when looking for and applying for graduate jobs, it was important to me that this should reflect these values. I decided to focus my search on the third sector. Christians Against Poverty was a charity I had been aware of for a while, and so one day I went onto their website to see if they had any vacancies. It was then that I first heard about their internship and upon application I was successful.

The internship first appealed to me because it will give me valuable experience in an innovative charity (which has made numerous appearances on lists of best charities to work for) and will set me in good stead for a career in the third sector which is my ultimate goal. An internship role rather than a regular job attracted me because of the additional support that will be available throughout the year. This is important to me because I am aware that the leap between full-time study and the working world is large and is something I am somewhat apprehensive about. The goal of Christians Against Poverty is to free people in the UK from the grip of poverty and debt. I will be working as an intern in the Debt Operations team, putting together payment plans and negotiating repayments. This role will enable me to use the skills developed as part of my mathematics degree, whilst helping people and making a positive impact on the lives of those most in need.”

Eddie commences as a graduate intern with Christians Against Poverty on September 3rd.

To explore your values why not have a go at an online questionnaire



Get ahead. Get International Experience


By Nikki Abbott, Employability Adviser.

Research has found that students who have spent time abroad studying, working or volunteering during their degree are more likely to be in a higher salary graduate job, are more likely to attain a first or upper class second degree and are less likely to be unemployed.

In addition you will develop many skills sort after by employers and will gain valuable experiences to add to your CVs. By matching opportunities with your motivations and objectives, gaining experience abroad can help give you an edge.

There are a range of international experiences that could be open to you including: internships and exchanges; temporary and seasonal work; teaching English as a foreign language, and volunteering. If you are a first year student you may be able to apply to the Cantor Bursary for up to £500 to help with travel costs, accommodation and living expenses for the duration of the period of work experience.


Look at international internships, summer work experience and volunteering opportunities offered by companies such as those referred to on Careers Central and advertised on the Careers and Employability Services’ UniHub website.

New opportunities will be added regularly up until the end of term so remember to keep checking the site.

To find out more about the wide range of opportunities open to you, visit Careers Central or speak to an adviser.

What do Graduates do? Using Labour Market Info to kick start your search for the perfect career


By Anjlee Gupta, Employability Adviser

It is that time where after much procrastination and trying to avoid the endless barrage of questions from friends, and family asking ‘What are you going to do after graduation?’, that you finally decide to join in the search for your graduate career.

To answer the question above for some people is a piece of cake. These people are the go-getters who know what they are good at and what they want to do and let’s face it they will probably ace their first interview.

But what if you are in the ‘I have no idea what I want to do’ category? Where do you start? Well firstly let me put you straight, there are no magic answers. You have got to put in the work.


You can start by looking up graduate labour market information. This research will come in handy when you are preparing for interviews, networking and during your employment.

Take a look at some key facts taken from The Graduate Market in 2017;

  • Did you know that over 800 graduate roles were unfilled in 2016?
  • A growing number of vacancies in 2017 are expected to come from public sector organisations and online retailers.
  • Opportunities for internships, work shadowing and taster or open days are increasing with at least three quarters of employers offering students to have an opportunity to build their work experience.

So how can facts and information like this help? To help you kick start your journey, I have put together a few tips;

  1. Firstly find out your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, preferences – use the prospects career planner – a quick and simple quiz to get you thinking.
  2. Research the opportunities available with your degree. Prospects has a great list of jobs by sector to give an idea of what you can do with your degree. Keep your options open and don’t be afraid to look at roles outside of your degree subject. Questions to find answers to include; what roles are out there, what jobs have other graduates done, which industries are growing and what roles are there demands for.
  3. Use LinkedIn to search for and make connections with alumni and industry professionals. Join the SHU Alumni Connect Group and use the LinkedIn alumni connections tool. For information on using LinkedIn come along to one of our workshops.
  4. Do a placement, internship, work shadowing or volunteering – trying different types of roles and gaining a variety of experiences will help you build key skills and shine on your CV whilst also helping you to make decisions about potential career paths. Use Unihub to start your search.
  5. Start applying! – start making applications, attend interviews and get the ball rolling! The key is to be persistent and to try. Even if it’s not your ‘forever’ job, it will shape your development both personally and professionally which will continue as you progress in your career.

How diversity programmes can help you find work after graduation


By Karen Allan, Employability Adviser.

Making the most of the opportunities available to you are what resourceful people try to do to achieve their ambitions. Here are some opportunities that could make the difference in securing future career success.

What are ‘diversity programmes’?

The majority of organisations recognise that having a diverse workforce that reflects the community makes good business sense. For a number of reasons, many businesses find they have underrepresentation in their workforce from people from specific groups. This could be people with disabilities, black and minority ethnic groups, gender bias in certain job roles.

To try and redress this some employers and training organisations promote ‘diversity programmes’ to give an insight and practical experience to specific groups of people. It is hoped that following such a programme, whether it is one week or three months that the participants will have the knowledge and confidence to apply for a regular job.

Here are examples of some opportunities currently being advertised. Many have closing dates in January 2017, so why not give these some thought.

Civil Service

Are you on track for 2:2, in the last two years of university and interested in working for the government? Their Summer Diversity Internship Programme will allow you to gain experience within the Civil Service, as well as being paid!



Change 100

For students with a disability or specific learning need such as dyslexia then Change 100 may be offering that first entry into your ideal job.

Change 100 offer summer internships in a variety of business, IT and engineering roles. The roles are paid and supported by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation

Apply for a Change100 internship today!

To apply you must meet the following criteria:

  • have a disability or long-term health condition
  • be in the final or penultimate year of your degree, or have graduated in 2015 or 2016
  • have achieved or be predicted a 2.1 or first (mitigating circumstances will be taken into account)
  • be eligible to work in the UK for the duration of a full-time summer work placement

To find out more about the application process, please download the Change100 student brochure. For more information: email us

You can find more information and vacancies for ‘diversity programmes’ on: http://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/planning-your-future/disabled-students then click into the most appropriate drop down tab.

External Careers Adviser praises service


The sharing of best practice is a key aspect of ensuring the continuous improvement of the services and provisions which are offered by an ogranisation.

Recently, Jill Valentine, a Sixth Form college Careers Adviser, visited Sheffield Hallam University to spend time with our Employability Advisers (EA). Here, she recounts her time spent working with our EAs and the benefits she found from spending time with them.

Sixth Form Careers Adviser, Jill Valentine praised the work of the Sheffield Hallam Employability Advisers.

Sixth Form Careers Adviser, Jill Valentine praised the work of the Sheffield Hallam Employability Advisers.

“I really enjoyed the fabulous opportunity I had to observe three excellent Employability Advisers at Sheffield Hallam University. Each Adviser made their students feel comfortable, gave them the space to explain their issues and spent time professionally addressing their concerns.

“At the end of each appointment the student left with a developed understanding of what to do, the tools and skills to do it and the knowledge of where for find further support if necessary.

“The three workshops I observed included:  Creating a Competitive CV; Working for Enterprise Rent a Car and Getting LinkedIn. The workshops were delivered in an engaging face paced interactive manner; using well designed bright and eye catching Power Point presentations and supported with appropriate and easy to read hand-outs.

“What more could you want?

“Throughout the day everyone was helpful, supportive and very informative making the whole experience so worthwhile providing me with an insight into the role of Employability Adviser.

“This leaves me to say a big thank you to Maggie Bamford, Arnett Powell, Theresa Corcoran, Johanne Gilroy, and Anjlee Gupta for allowing me to sit on your sessions and to the students who I also observed. 

“All this could not have been done without Linda Wilson, who not only suggested the idea but organised it superbly. Thanks!”

Flying the Flag for Sheffield Hallam students down south


Diversity Careers Show – 7th October 2016, London

By Karen Allan – Employment Advisorkaren allan

I was looking forward to my day trip to London.  Conferences can sometimes be a little too prescriptive in terms of what you have to sit through. What is new information for one person is not necessarily ground breaking for another. Careers Fairs are another matter. Employer’s representatives are there and although there is often a theme, they are generally open for any questions you wish to ask. Students get your questions ready when employers attend the Careers Fairs here at Sheffield Hallam.

I was travelling to London to talk with the exhibitors at the Diversity Careers Show in Islington. These employers were promoting their jobs and internships and keen to encourage students from all backgrounds to apply. Sheffield Hallam is the fourth largest university in the UK with students from a variety of social backgrounds, cultures and ethnicity. Twelve percent of our students have declared a disability and we offer one of the largest varieties of courses in the UK. Armed with these facts I was all set to start promoting our students.

Here is a snapshot of what I found out.

Are you intelligent enough for the intelligence service?

Of course you are. Did you know that the intelligence services MI5 and MI6 along with GCHQ want to recruit 1000 people this year? Applicants need a minimum 2:2. It turned out that the person I was talking to was ex-Sheffield Hallam and graduated in 2011. Of course I wasn’t allowed to know her identity being the secret service and all…

Is money more your thing?

The Bank of England has a number of opportunities for first years all the way through to graduate roles in IT business and finance. You need 300 UCAS points in total and Vicky is waiting for your applications: www.bankofenglandearlycareers.co.uk

HeathrowThe National Audit Office was promoting their positive action eight-week internship for students from minority ethnic groups and lower income families HRServiceDesk@nao.gsi.gov.uk This will be running next summer and they are taking enquiries now.

Many companies at the Diversity careers show have support groups in the work place for specific groups – LGTB, BAME. Although some companies were promoting specific positive action programmes the majority were encouraging people to apply to their regular graduate / internship opportunities.

Talking about flying the flag… Heathrow Airport was on stand-by. Sophie, (pictured here) was interested in the range of courses and diverse student population at Hallam.I may have convinced her to come to the Tourism careers fair here in November. She is keen to hear from you in any case. They are continually recruiting and have an internship and future leaders programme. http://careers.heathrow.com/emerging-talent

Although I cannot write about everyone I talked to I will make sure the careers information gained is entered onto the Careers Central website. I also managed to get a few exhibitors to speak to camera (although some did have to help me with the IPad settings!) Here are some of the other companies who want to hear from Sheffield Hallam students:

Rolls Royce PLC:

Law firm Berwin, Leighton Paisner: This recruiter worked at Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield for seven years and has fond memories of the city. Watch the video below.

Whitbread: They will be here at the Hospitality / Tourism / Food and Events fair on the 2nd November. Watch the video below.

Viacom: Who doesn’t want to work for Channel 5. MTV, Comedy Central to name just a few brands. Internships will be advertised in the New Year. George on the video is waiting for your application: http://www.viacomcareers.com

Coca Cola, Land Lease, GSK, MOD Police and Bloomberg all asked me to encourage you to apply.

You may have gathered that I do like to talk although I couldn’t speak to everyone that day. The full list of exhibitors is listed on the website link below. I have invited these companies to Sheffield Hallam and after hearing all about you I am sure many of them will come.

With tired feet and a dry throat I headed back to Sheffield…



Everyone loves Coffee, right? Every question is recruitment…



Did you say hello to a stranger today? Despite what ‘the elders’ told you, you’d be surprised how often you are approached by a total unknown and offer an answer either out of human decency or merely because you feel obliged.

It’s pretty difficult to go through a day without somebody asking you a question. Even those who already know you cannot resist. “Hiya?”, “The weather’s not great is it?”. You’d be forgiven for thinking I’m anti-social but believe it or not, I don’t completely avoid interaction!

Every question is a form of recruitment. People want to befriend you, make you see their way of thinking and are prepared to get on board with your thinking and offer conversation. We want to know other people’s opinions and every conversation gives you the chance to take something from it.

Today’s job market is very much the one asking the questions. To give it a personality, the job market would be a cross between the recent EU referendum and Lord Sugar. It seems to know what it wants but gives you the chance to make its mind up. If you’re in it, you do your best to make other people’s minds think that they need you. If you’re not, are you confident enough that you won’t undersell your skills the next time you’re required to prove yourself?

Whether it’s your opinion or someone else’s fact, the next time you make or hear a statement you have the opportunity to;

A) Accept it and move swiftly on.

B) Dissect it and keep your thoughts to yourself.

C) Tolerate it, dissect it, offer your take on it and watch the dust settle.

D) Pretend you’re busy and store it for later!

The sooner you can reflect on your skills the better. Take the time to step out of a situation and see the bigger picture. The simplest of thought processes can often answer someone else’s problems. You can always offer something to someone, it’s knowing what to offer and in what context that’s crucial.

So, why the Coffee question? I task you with walking half a mile from your work place and not running into a coffee shop. Like it or not, coffee now has a way of quietly (in some cases) asserting itself as a constant in our lives. Flavoursome, adaptable, open to change. Solid characteristics with a take it or leave it approach. If you take it, your sold. If you don’t, you can bet your last pound that you will still see its face not too far away from every street corner. Coffee, like or lump it, is always available.

If you take anything from this post, let it be that coffee didn’t give examples of how it prioritises a workload or remains focused whilst using its own initiative. It just gets it! Coffee knows itself to the point where if it had an opinion, then it wouldn’t matter, people would automatically take notice. Be sure of your skills.

What things have you done that someone else might value? How can you recruit people to believe in what you have to offer?

Yes, I’ve posed a lot of questions but the key to success is knowing ‘your’ best answers. I’m yet to meet someone who has the right answer to everything, so be selective about your best qualities and what you can bring to the table. We all have something to offer and a place in society, let coffee be the example! Who knows . . . being sure of your skills and being open to share your success, however small you think it may be, could see you on the right side of the table when Lord Sugar says “you’re hired”.

Post written by James Beighton, Student Employment Co-ordinator at Sheffield Hallam University. For more of his musings, you can connect with James on LinkedIn.

Careers Fairs – the blind date you need to be attending!



I wonder what the person behind me on this train would say to me if they had 30 seconds to hold my attention? I’ve never met them before but I like to think I’m quite easy to get on with. My ability to remember random information about the most bizarre of topics should mean that i am confident we could at least hold a conversation beyond the simple nod of fellow commuter approval!

It just so happens that this guy is wearing my Football teams colours. The knowing nod turned into a question and answer session based on long suffering Sheffield Football opinions.

Consider this scenario. . .

Say I had booked this train well in advance knowing that the guy was going to be on there along with several others with a similar passion and enthusiasm for the same topic. Throw the team manager and a couple of the players on the first class carriage and all of a sudden we have everything needed in the confines of one train to truly make a difference and impact on what is essentially a profit making business.


Do you work for an enthusiastic retail company and are you looking for enthusiastic team members to make a difference on the shop floor?

Do you work in construction and would your company benefit from being in a room of Building Surveying or Urban Planning students? We’re giving you access to top future talent with up to date and innovative thinking from within your industry. This could prove invaluable and give you that competitive edge in the market.

Are you an Engineer looking for Engineers? It’s the same principle. A recruitment fair is a blind date you can’t afford to miss.

Why, I can hear you thinking?

Number 1 – Its free of charge for you to access highly skilled, specialist students and graduates that will make a difference to the future of your business. The best thing is, they’re all under one roof! We spend so much time on smart phones in today’s society but is there really a better form of communication than face-to-face contact?

Number 2 – Students want to see YOU! The competitive labour market has given our students a desire to forge a career whilst they are still studying. There will be attendees who have the skills and specialisms that you’re looking for.

Number 3 – Brand Awareness! First impressions are everything. Your competitors won’t miss a trick, they will be there too. This is your opportunity to showcase your company and exactly what you are looking for and can offer. By the time our students graduate, they will be looking for opportunities to join companies who they are familiar with.

Number 4 – One size doesn’t necessarily fit all. We make our students aware well in advance that you are coming on campus. This means you have a chance to appeal to non-traditional applicants. What’s interesting to a Bio-Science student might not be what you initially think. Thinking outside the box is often a catalyst for positive change.

Number 5 – Give something back to those who could make a difference in your business. Utilise any alumni connections you have with our University and bring along an ex-Hallam graduate who is working for you. What better way to get your message across than it coming from someone who automatically has things in common with our students?

Get involved in our recruitment and careers fairs starting with the Work While You Study Part-Time Jobs Fairs on Wednesday 5th October . Employ our students in paid part-time roles to fit alongside their studies.

To attend please complete a booking form as an expression of interest, and our team will be in touch to discuss.

Wednesday 5th October 2016 – Work While You Study Fair – City Campus
Thursday 6th October 2016 – Work While You Study Fair – Collegiate Campus
Tuesday 25th October 2016 – Business & Finance – placement and graduate jobs fair
Wednesday 26th October 2016 – STEM – placement and graduate jobs fair
Wednesday 2nd November 2016 – Events, Tourism, Hospitality & Food – placement and graduate jobs fair
Thursday 10th November 2016 – The Natural and Built Environment Careers Fair

So, without further ado . . . Let the jobs, see the students!

Post written by James Beighton, Student Employment Co-ordinator at Sheffield Hallam University. For more of his musings, you can also connect with James on LinkedIn.

So you want to be an artist…..?


The Moor, SheffieldAs part of Departure Point Yorkshire, a creative venture to support emerging theatre companies the Moor Theatre Delicatessen is currently offering a series of free public workshops for early career artists (and those wanting to work in the arts industry). As the new Employability Adviser for Humanities (including Stage & Screen), the opening session was unmissable.

Led by Jess Brewster, Co- Artistic Director of Theatre Delicatessen, this engaging discussion was about what it means to be an artist and how you might become one. The panel of four speakers includedSheffield Hallam University graduate Sarah-Jane Parker, a visual artist and founder of Muriel Design; Terry O’Connor, a creative member of Forced Entertainment and Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Practice at the University of Sheffield; Nina Segal, a playwright/producer and Malaika (‘Max’) Cunningham, Artistic Director of local theatre company, The Bare Project.

Like the panel members, this event did not lend itself to being pigeonholed! Not only did it tackle issues that artists grapple with, but it also offered insight that could also be applicable outside of the arts industry, particularly if you are interested in freelance work and/or a ‘portfolio career’. A number of themes and useful tips came out:

Don’t be afraid of a fluid career and practise articulating the value of what you do

The pressure to focus on a particular role to be remembered and taken seriously was acknowledged, but the most important thing is to have an inner conviction that you are an artist. One tip was to focus on a form of work rather than an individual role; something which Nina, as both a writer and producer, has embraced.

As many people are unfamiliar with non-play based theatre, Terry finds explaining what Forced Entertainment does a challenge, but suggested that perseverance can pay off!

Departure Points

Avoid direct comparison with others

It was recognised that it can be a struggle not to compare yourself to others, particularly those who secure certain high status venues and reviews etc. ‘Look for value in your own work rather than competing with others’ and ‘resist following trends for the sake of it; stick to what you want to do,’ advised Max.

Persevere to strike the balance between financial survival and your artistic development

Working outside of the industry is common, particularly in early careers, but aim to choose roles that leave you the energy to continue developing your art. Sarah spoke of her long term determination to become financially independent rather than relying on external funding. She has gradually built up a wallpaper design business (supported by our very own enterprise team). ‘This allows more time for my individual art work than previous jobs have done,’ Sarah added. As it is a creative business, it feels part of her artistic life consisting of ‘interconnected strands’, which can be individual or collaborative; commercially focused or not.Departure Points 2

Be aware of the realities of the market but maintain a positive perspective

To some extent, both the panel and audience acknowledged that trends and marketing can sometimes lead to being pigeonholed by funders and venues. However, there is a flipside to this coin, as branding can also be useful to sustain a career. There is no easy answer, but the consensus was to compartmentalize different aspects of the industry; ‘get perspective – distance yourself from the parts of the industry you don’t like and focus on those that you love!’ advised Max.

There are three more public Departure Point workshops; see full details here – https://goo.gl/AXfWpN 

Post written by Laura Kerley, Employability Adviser for Humanities (including Stage & Screen) at Sheffield Hallam University.

Inspired by Creative Careers Week


Creative Careers Week was put on to inspire and inform students, with talks and presentations from creative professionals from around the city. As a Careers Adviser listening to some of the talks, the week has highlighted for me the range of brilliant creative professionals out there in Sheffield, doing their thing and making a difference. Some of the key messages coming out from many of the sessions were:


  • Know what skills you have to offer, but also think about your values – what is important to you? What sort of work do you want to do? Who do you want to work for?
  • Keep learning. You aren’t going to leave university with a complete set of skills required for a job – much of what you need in a job you will learn as you go along, and this is an ongoing process. If there is a skill you don’t currently have that you think will be useful in a future career (coding, blogging, photo editing, running workshops…) teach yourself, do a course, ask a friend to teach you, or volunteer to gain the experience.

  • Don’t be defined or restricted by your degree – for instance, just because you haven’t done a creative degree doesn’t mean you can’t be creative in your job; you don’t have to have an events management degree to organise events…

Finally, and most importantly:

  • Talk to people. Everywhere and anywhere. It’s all about making connections – people who can inspire you, help you, give you feedback, give you work, but who might also gain from you as well. Make those first contacts online, use social media, but then good old face-to-face conversation is the best way to develop meaningful professional relationships.

Rachel Firth, Careers and Employability