Career Weaver

 

Career Weaver is a web-based application to help you identify, take ownership of and clearly articulate:

  • what you love
  • what you are good at
  • why you do it.

These three keys are important as drivers of your success. They are rooted in your underlying beliefs about what is most important to you, your strengths, and your personal style and preferences. Understanding your personal pattern will give you an invaluable perspective to evaluate different careers, identify options that engage and energise you, and to succeed both in the application process and subsequently in the roles that you choose to take on.

Identifying your personal values, strengths and motivations can be difficult however. Although you probably use these daily in making decisions and choosing how to spend your time and energy, you will apply them instinctively. That is, you do not need to bring them to the surface consciously in order to use them, which makes it much harder to name them and consider them clearly.

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The exercises in Career Weaver provide a structured approach, a vocabulary and a variety of working methods to help you explore, name and describe your personal work-related drivers. The exercises are grouped in three areas.

What I love

Investigate the values and work preferences that underpin your intuitions, decisions and life satisfaction, both inside and outside work. Your core drivers provide the foundations for your choices, successes and frustrations, so it is powerful and enabling if you can name and take full ownership of these.

What I am good at

Taking time to understand your true strengths and skills helps you to:

  • be confident about what you already do well and what you want to do in future;
  • create focused goals for your personal development;
  • learn how to present your story and showcase your abilities in order to make persuasive applications for the positions to which you aspire.

Why I do it

Bringing together the insights about ‘what you love‘ and ‘what you are good at‘ with ideas about what really motivates you will help you to understand and explain ‘why‘ you enjoy what you enjoy doing and what underpins your commitment and success. Being clearer about ‘why‘ will help you to:

  • evaluate options and make better decisions based on what is most important to you and your likely long-term satisfaction;
  • explain clearly and succinctly how you like to work, what underpins your successes and why you enjoy doing the things you choose to do; and
  • create clear and well supported job applications or suggestions for your growth and development at work.

Career Weaver has been developed by the University of Oxford Careers Service, and can be used by staff, students and alumni of the University. It has been developed to be accessible with mobile devices as well as laptops and desktop computers.

Users sign in on the Career Weaver Homepage.

  • Current staff and students can access their account by signing in with their University Single Sign On (SSO)
  • Oxford University alumni who matriculated will need to request a Career Weaver account. To do this, alumni must log into their CareerConnect account and send a request via the Query tab.

Graduating students can change their Career Weaver account to a personal account before their university SSO access is withdrawn. To do this, click the “User” icon on any Career Weaver screen (it’s next to the login/logout icon), and then click the blue “Convert account” button on the next screen. This allows you to enter a personal email address and create a new password. Note: whilst you will be able to switch your account to other email addresses, it will not be possible to convert your account back the original university account.

Career Weaver is a flexible resource offering a dozen exercises. There is no set ‘route’ to follow and we encourage users to explore the site and start with whichever exercise looks most interesting or relevant, and take it from there.

Most exercises should take only 5-15 minutes, although two or three can be explored in much more depth. You can save your progress as you work and return to complete exercises later. In fact, rather than crunching through the exercises in one sitting, we recommend you use Career Weaver over a number of visits. It is a good idea:

  • to pause between exercises for reflection and review;
  • to re-visit exercises over time and up-date your thoughts as you gain experience;
  • to review or retake exercises you have already completed as you develop new insights.

Most exercises are grouped on the homepage under three main headings, with some additional exercises accessed via the dashboard. The main headings are:

  • Values and Work Preferences;
  • Strengths and Skills;
  • Motivations.

The exercises use a variety of approaches to help you make and rate your own choices, and we hope that whatever your preferred learning style, you will find some of the exercises interesting and enjoyable.

Please note the following points as you get started:

  • there is no recommended order for using the exercises – start with what seems most interesting to you;
  • there are no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers for any of these exercises;
  • you do not have to take every exercise – some users may find that using only two or three exercises will be enough to uncover valuable and actionable insights;
  • different exercises can overlap, so:
    • insights from different sources might reinforce each other, or challenge your current thinking or assumptions;
    • people with different working styles may find some exercises or ways of thinking more accessible.

The challenge for each one of us is to use the information and insights revealed through these exercises to understand our own personal pattern of career drivers and apply this thoughtfully to make better work-related choices. However, Career Weaver does not provide recommendations or suggestions about which careers or jobs might be a good personal fit, not least because there are already many tools designed to help with this, which are outlined in the resources mentioned below.

Career Weaver provides a parallel and complementary set of insights to help you understand why different options might be a good fit for you, and begin to articulate this clearly for yourself and through stronger job applications. Users who complete at least one exercise from each of the three areas defined on the landing page will unlock an extra, concluding exercise: Seeing your patternThis is accessed from the dashboard and can be used to pull together the different threads within Career Weaver. Use it to further clarify your thinking about what’s most important to you and how you can best present this to others.

For anyone interested in exploring which specific career direction to follow, we recommend using the Careers Service website, starting with the following resources:

  • guidance on Generating Career Ideas, including using the Prospects Planner, a personality-based assessment that provides recommended job profiles;
  • the Sector and Occupations briefing pages;
  • advice on the variety of ways to research and find work opportunities, accessed through the Main menu under Job Search Strategies;
  • using the additional links and guidance suggested on our Useful Career Resources page.

Additionally, current students and research staff can arrange to See a Careers Adviser for an impartial and confidential discussion of their Career Weaver profile and their emerging career ideas.

The University’s People and Organisational Development (POD) team supported our work to create Career Weaver.

This section considers specifically how Career Weaver can be used by Oxford University staff. However, the ideas and suggestions below should hold true for our alumni and others working in organisations that have formal performance management and personal development review processes in place.

For individuals:

For people already in work, Career Weaver can be used to support reflection about your contribution in the past and to identify and explain your personal development objectives and goals at work. The primary goals for using Career Weaver are to:

  • Understand and take greater ownership of your personal pattern of career drivers
  • Identify what helps you most to be successful and explain and support these ideas with evidence from what you have done and
  • Become more confident and articulate about what you really need and want from your work, your environment and your colleagues.

… in order to support individuals to be more confident and proactive in planning and taking charge of their career and personal development.

For people managers:

Managers can signpost staff to Career Weaver wherever they feel this will be useful.  Career Weaver can also help staff prepare for a PDR or similar conversation by supporting them to:

  • Reflect on strengths and current skills, and identify best examples of how these are visible in the contributions made in the period under review
  • Understand how the current role and working environment support or enable successful contribution
  • Identify gaps or opportunities that would enable them to contribute more or more effectively within current role or field of work
  • Identify personal development objectives that cannot be met in the immediate work context, and which suggest or require additional training, stretch assignments, secondment or a move into an alternative role or department
  • Discover or find a way to explain personally important or significant goals and aspirations to widen the development discussion further and examine future possibilities and options.

….in order to support more focused and productive discussions and greater staff engagement.

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