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Career Plan

We’re glad to see you here. You probably would like to know how you can take the next step in your career, where to start and where to go?

Maybe you know that prototyping and exploring career options is the best way to mitigate the risk of committing to a career path that may not be fulfilling or suitable for you in the long term. However, at the same time that you can learn new skills, gain diverse perspectives, and expand your professional network, from each new role or experience, you can also define and design a career development plan.

We consider that you may benefit from a combination of both approaches - prototyping and planning - experimenting and getting different opportunities while also setting overarching career goals.

There is no specific moment to start a career development plan. You may start when you think or feel you need it. But since you are here, maybe today can be the day to start (re)building and (re)designing a sustainable career - a career that is aligned with your interests, strengths and values, and that is an open-door for long-life employability.

By looking inside and around different exercises and activities, which will be available every semester in an on-line or on-site model, you will have the chance, in an autonomous way, to explore your interests, competences, values and goals, determine what is important to you and how you can define your next career steps. The goal is to get empowered with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to pursue your career goals successfully.


Self-knowledge is an essential factor in career decisions and can be defined as having a clear and accurate perception of who you are, including your values, interests, strengths, competencies, character, feelings and motivations. The workshops provided at U.Porto related to self-knowledge are designed to help you to explore, understand and deepen your understanding of yourself, to identify your skills, strengths and areas for improvement. These workshops aimed at fostering personal growth and deep self-reflection about: “Who am I?”| “How am I like others? How am I different?”| “How am I special?” | What do I love and don’t love ?| What am I good at? | What do I still have to develop?”

Practical sessions designed to help you to develop and enhance the skills, qualities, and attributes needed to succeed in the job market and in your careers. These workshops typically focus on a range of competences that are highly valued by employers across various contexts and in topics such as: crafting effective resumes or curriculum vitae (CVs), techniques for preparing and performing well in job interviews, including mock interview sessions, advice on answering common interview questions, and strategies for presenting yourself professionally (such as Pitch Events), communication skills, problem-solving and critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration, among others.

Network Time is a specific activity (one per semester) that puts together companies/industry/organisations and PhD candidates. As a Phd candidate you can interact with representatives of companies and organisations for various purposes, such as: learn about the company culture, values and exploring career opportunities (potential job openings, internships, or career paths), building professional relationships, which can lead to mentorship opportunities, referrals, and long-term connections, gain valuable insights into the industry and job trends,, and challenges faced by companies, which can help you to make choices and informed decisions about your career goals and professional development. You can also present your PhD project, your skills, expertise, and accomplishments to potential employers and enhance your personal brand.

Each semester you will also have the opportunity to pitch yourself as a prospective candidate to a panel of potential employers. You will be able to attend some specific workshops related to being better prepared for this Pitching Event. You will be able to present your project and research but mainly your skills, expertise, experiences, accomplishments, personal and professional interests, and career goals in a concise and compelling way to representatives from industry, academia, or other organisations. These events provide you a platform to market yourself effectively and connect with potential employers.

Conversations between a small group of PhD candidates facilitated by career development professionals, psychologists and PhD holders already integrated into the labour market (outside and inside academia) with the aim of listening to your career needs and exploring linear and non-linear career paths and opportunities. These sessions are being developed every two months on a rotating basis in each of the faculties. to offer: insights into real-world experiences (Ph.D. graduates provide valuable insights into their own career journeys, including the challenges they faced, the decisions they made, and the strategies that proved successful); exchange of diverse perspectives, with participants coming from various academic disciplines and career stages, which enriches the discussion and exposes Ph.D. candidates to a wide range of career possibilities and approaches to career development; networking opportunities; support and guidance; exploration of career paths and increase confidence in their own skills and (to start developing) career paths.

In each semester 20 PhD candidates will have the opportunity to get involved in a structured initiative designed to support individuals in advancing their careers – a career development programme designed by psychologists and career facilitators made up of individual and collective sessions and both online and face-to-face.

In 30 hours, combining guided sessions and autonomous work, you'll engage with practical and theoretical micro-learnings focused on the job market. These learnings, delivered through symbolic maps/mediators, individual balance, coaching and collective sharings, will equip you with essential insights into labour market dynamics, including areas such as labour market analysis, CV optimization, presence in digital professionals platforms , and crafting pitches. Through reflective exercises and group discussions, you'll gain clarity on your professional journey, identifying starting points and future directions. By the end of the training, you'll have honed your personal value proposition, defined clear professional goals, and crafted a strategic action plan to achieve them.

O UP Doctoral Careers decorre do projeto PhD Career Design, iniciado em 2021 por uma equipa composta pelo Núcleo de Talento e Carreira da Reitoria da U.Porto, Serviço de Consultoria de Psicologia do Trabalho ( FPCEUP), Talent Unit (FEUP), Gabinete de Apoio ao Estudante, Empregabilidade e Alumni ( ICBAS), i3S e Laboratório de Ensino e Aprendizagem (FEUP). Em 2023 foi financiado pelo projeto "Skills for a Next Generation U.Porto" (Upskilling U.Porto) ao abrigo do Aviso POCH-I2-2022-01 Concurso Skills4 Pós Covid - Competências para o Futuro no Ensino Superior. Conta com contributos de membros das Unidades Orgânicas da U.Porto, Centros de Investigação, doutorandos, doutorados, orientadores de Doutoramento, diretores de Programas Doutorais/ Doutoramento e entidades, com apoio da rede EUGLOH e do projeto DocTalent4EU.