Career Readiness Grid

Career Readiness Grid

The Career Readiness Grid can be used as a guideline to help students to demonstrate core competencies and to sharpen their career objectives. It summarizes several resources to make decisions, explore options, and work purposefully toward a successful future in the workplace and with career management. 

Quadrant 1: Make a start

''I am exploring ideas''

The most important thing is to make a start. It does not matter whether your next move is to try something new, start planning when you have reflected on your personal preferences, or to explore a little. 

There are several things you could do to explore your career options, find direction, and plan your next move. You could do several personality tests, read books, listen to podcasts, and have a meeting with someone from the Student Career Services, our visit career events and workshops. 

The following steps on the Career Readiness Grid indicate more specifically what is needed to move 'down' and 'right'. Remember, it’s never too late to start, and there are multiple people who can support you all the way.

Quadrant 2: I have a focus but I’m not sure if it is truly right for me.

''I have some ideas''

It is always important to get some experience to help you both better understand why a role, organization or further study option is right for you, and to be a stronger candidate. The best way to find out what you enjoy doing is to try it, 'learn by doing'. There are several things you could do to 'learn by doing'. You could do, or maybe even expand your, extracurricular activities, do volunteering, follow workshops about a certain topic, or do an internship. Other things you could do to deepen your understanding, extend your thinking, or test any assumptions are to go to company-led events to talk with alumni or go to career fairs.

Sometimes you may identify additional ideas to develop into your plan B and plan C as a backup to your primary focus when you have experience. If you have questions or doubts, plan a meeting with someone from Student Career Services.

Quadrant 3: I enjoy lots of different things – how can I choose between them?

''I am deciding on a plan''

Students often have difficulty choosing, because they have the potential to succeed in many different roles and fields. You could use several things for guidance and tools to help you identify your pattern, interests, and motivations. You can have conversations with family members/people to get to know how they see you and narrow your focus. It is important to try to identify any themes that are important to you; Which skills do you have? How important are relationships, people, and outcomes to you? Why do you choose to do certain activities? You could also follow traineeships or internships to find out what you would like to do. 

Once you understand what kind of work and outcomes offer you intrinsic satisfaction, further research and ‘in person’ into roles, industries, and organizations will help you to create focus and make decisions.

Quadrant 4: Organized and clear about the next steps

''I have a clear plan'' 

This last quadrant is to help you action your career plan. You may already be applying and interviewing for roles if you have already decided on a career plan. To strengthen your applications, help identify viable alternatives, or reinforce certain decisions that you have made, it is helpful to can examine any assumptions, reflect on how you develop your focus and align your choices to your core motivations.

If your early applications did not work out as you would have liked, additional support can still be helpful. Attend company events, have conversations with career advisors to hone your approach, attend workshops and consider what plan B and C might look like. 

On the website of Tilburg University, you can find the contact details from the Student Career Services, find the workshops that the University offers, find several vacancies, and much more. 


- I’m exploring ideas. (z.d.). Oxford University Careers Service.

- I’ve got some ideas. (z.d.). Oxford University Careers Service.

- I’m deciding on a plan. (z.d.). Oxford University Careers Service.

- I have a clear plan. (z.d.). Oxford University Careers Service.

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