Literacies for Life help you to understand your career and study confidence. Use them to enhance your confidence and make informed life and career decisions in line with your values and goals.
Your self-esteem – your belief in yourself – influences your decisions, your physical and mental health, and your perseverance.
Your self-esteem also influences the likelihood that you will be successful in your life and career.
Knowing your strengths and stretches enables you to maximise your available time and energy.
Being able to see the relevance of your studies to your future life and career helps you to make meaning, ask great questions, and build the evidence you need to succeed.
Career literacy refers to career identity, exploration and commitment
Career literacy enables informed decisions – decisions based on what you know about yourself and the career opportunities available.
An important aspect of career literacy is the extent to which you identify with your discipline and your strategy for action if things don’t work out as planned.
Career exploration underpins the ability to make informed decisions about work and study.
The best way to find out about careers you might enjoy is to experience and talk about them.
Connect with your careers service and start to build networks. Use the networking tools housed in the student toolkit.
What of your knowledge, skills and strengths could be transferred to other work and careers? Think broadly – look at job advertisements and create a strengths profile using the student toolkit.
Many people need a temporary plan B when they first graduate, or a second job to support their main career. Know that this experience is normal.
In an interview situation, applicants need to articulate strengths and provide examples of their capabilities. How quickly can you identify what you’re good at?
List the selection criteria common to your field or use the lists in the toolkit’s cover letter resource. Create a folder for each criterion and populate each folder with evidence and a summary statement.
Learning literacy encompasses self-beliefs and a learning mindset
Learning literacy is crucial to study success. It also helps people to stay employable throughout their career lifespan.
Learning literacy includes goal-directed behaviour, study confidence and lifelong learning.
How confident were you in your most recent self-assessment and which areas need more attention?
This aspect of learning literacy is known as academic self-efficacy. If you’re worried about any aspect of your studies, seek support now.
Employers value help-seeking behaviour because they value workers who seek to learn and improve, who seek solutions, and who are self-aware.
Study strategies are an indication of goal-oriented behaviour, time management and organisational skills. You can use great study skills to demonstrate these capabilities to future employers and clients as well as to succeed in your studies!
Learning is a constant part of life and career. Keep up to date with industry news by subscribing to industry news.
Get involved with student, community or professional organisations and embrace these opportunities to learn and upskill.
Be aware of your learning needs and seek, rather than avoid, opportunities to engage.
Rhetorical literacy is the sophisticated understanding and use of language
Rhetoric is effective or persuasive speaking and writing. Rhetorical literacy is one of the attributes that employers look for in graduates.
You will most likely see it expressed as communication, working with other people, problem solving, and decision-making.
Rhetorical literacy is essential in everyday study, work and life.
Think of a time when you helped to resolve a problem or grasp an opportunity. Which of the following skills did you use?
Written and oral communication skills
Understanding and managing the emotions of self and others
Most people think of emotional intelligence (EI) as getting along with people, but that is only part of the picture!
Consider the aspects of EI listed below. Given that both intra- and inter-personal EI can be developed, where do you need to focus?
When someone upsets you, how often do you stay calm rather than lashing out?
If someone is upset, can you help them feel better?
These questions relate to interpersonal EI: how understanding emotions guides our interactions with other people, including managing personal and professional relationships.
In selection criteria, interpersonal EI is often conveyed as interpersonal skills.
The questions below relate to intrapersonal EI.
Think of this as your emotional self-awareness and your ability to manage your emotions.
Can you manage stressful situations without getting too overwhelmed?
When making decisions, do you listen to your feelings to see whether the decision feels right?
Upholding ethical and responsible behaviour
Ethical literacy considers respectful relationships with other people.
To uphold ethically, culturally and socially responsible behaviours and values – both in your personal life and working life – you need to know what is acceptable and how to enact it.
Ethically, culturally and socially responsible behaviour requires that you know your rights and your responsibilities: it protects both you and other people.
Make an honest appraisal of your behaviour over the past 12 months. Are there areas for improvement? Are there aspects of ethical literacy you could highlight to a potential employer?
Do you behave ethically in your community, your social life, your work, and online?
Do you uphold academic integrity in your studies?
Do you accept responsibility for your work, decision and actions?
Do you know your rights as a student, worker and individual?
Do you respect and seek to better understand people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds?
Using digital technologies for work and learning
Digital literacy is the ability to identify and use technology to meet the demands of life, work and learning.
We use diverse technologies to organise information, solve problems and find new opportunities. No-one’s good at everything!
Make a note of your strengths and seek opportunities to learn and engage – this expertise could be a way for you to stand out from your peers.
Identify the technologies with which you’re less confident. If these are important to your studies and future career, find sources of support and develop your skills.
The Internet is awash with information. How do you know what information is reliable?
Always check the domain name, date, publisher and authors.
Ask yourself whether the material is evidence-based or simply someone’s opinion. Look at multiple sources and check for consistency.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help from teachers and librarians.
We all have a digital footprint. This can be the first thing someone sees – long before they meet us in person.
Search for yourself online and see what material is out there for everyone to see. Do you need to change anything? If so, do it now!