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Graduating is an exciting time, every student should feel engulfed by an immense sense of pride for all their achievements. Years of hard work has finally paid off but then comes the inevitably daunting task of entering the world of work and deciding on a career path.
In the current climate finding a fitting job role may not be as easy as it seemed in previous years. It can cause extreme anxiety and catalyse self-doubt. The important thing to remember is that every graduate journey is different, and it is important to stay on your trajectory and not compare yourself to others.
Need help deciding on a career path?
We’ve put together 5 top tips on ways to increase productivity and positivity whilst in the search for your ideal graduate job.
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One of the best ways to get a taster for the different graduate roles out there, is to find work experience and internship opportunities.
Some great places to find work experience opportunities, are through posting on LinkedIn asking if any connections have any work-experience schemes, contacting companies directly, and searching online.
All work experience looks great on your CV, so it doesn’t matter if you end up taking part in schemes which aren’t relevant to the graduate sector you eventually end up in, you will gain valuable skills and experience which employers will be looking for.
If you need to brush up your graduate CV, check out our graduate CV hub, we have a range of CV tips and free templates to download!
When you’re applying and interviewing for work experience schemes and internships, show the employer that you’re eager to gain experience and are willing to throw yourself into a new opportunity. Companies won’t be looking for candidates with previous experience to join them, but with the right mentality to get stuck in!
Work experience will also enhance your confidence as it will give you a taste of what a career in that field would be like. If you have the time at university, take part in a few over the holidays, or make sure to secure these after your graduation.
It is often difficult to deal with the lack of direction and uncertainty after leaving university. After being guided through education, you are your own for the first time and there is so much to consider before dedicating your life to a new career. So just remember that there is nothing wrong with taking time out to discover who you are and what you want to be.
It is important to follow your own path and not to let others choose for you. Make sure you do what feels right, even if that means trying out several jobs until you figure out what you’re suited too.
If you become interested in a career that isn’t specific to your university course, that doesn’t mean it’s been a waste of time. University is very beneficial and teaches a multitude of desirable transferable and social skills which you may not even be aware of.
There is no rush to secure a graduate role, and sometimes if you rush into a role, it may not be right for you and you may end up leaving the company after a short period of time.
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Whether you’re a student or graduate, you can still make use of your university career advisors. These contacts can be a great support at helping you decide on a career path that’s right for you. All universities want their graduates to succeed, so make sure you ask for help if you need it and make the most of the services you’re paying for!
For more tips on how to make the most of your university careers service, check out our blog.
You can also reach out to people within your social sphere such as family and friends. They may know someone in an industry you are interested in who could offer advice to help you decide on a career or even provide you with new opportunities.
Aside from this, you could also join groups on social media sites such as Facebook which are full of likeminded individuals in the same situation as you. You can connect with others to find out their personal experiences and the routes they have taken. You should never feel worried to reach out to people and remember ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’!
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Although it can often be expensive, a master’s degree could be the stepping stone needed to start a new career. Master’s degrees typically last one year so you must choose a subject related to the industry you want to work in.
If you are still unsure which path is right for you then opting for another degree may not be the best decision; studying online courses could be the answer instead which are a great way to discover topics and skills that you enjoy, and can help influence your future career.
If you are looking into a career related to medicine, you can use resources by Osmosis to try to learn something new and see if it is the right thing for you.
Alternatively, you can look at healthcare management courses if you're after something broader.
The National Careers Service has introduced a range of initiatives such as careers guidance and activities to assist students whose career path has been affected by Covid-19.
You can take a skills assessment, find a course and offers advice on how to decide on a career path. They offer several free courses to help you learn new skills or change jobs. They also offer courses on personal growth and wellbeing which may help you deal with stress and resilience.
If you’re looking for some of the best free online courses, make sure to visit out blog for 12 free online courses to help you upskill and discover new interests.
The best graduate jobs, are those which interest you and are in line with your hobbies and interests. This will see you motivated in your work and committed to working for a company. Spend some time after graduation, or during university, taking up new hobbies and activities.
Many hobbies are beneficial for both the mind and body and can help us manage our leisure time more productively. Rather than worrying about how to decide on a career path, take the opportunity to learn new skills which bring joy and pleasure.
Hobbies can help to relieve stress by keeping you occupied and engaged, they also take your mind off of work, chores and other responsibilities.
It’s also beneficial (post-covid) to take time out to travel. Travelling opens your mind and may change the way you view yourself and the world.
Learning about different cultures can be enriching for the mind; it can offer a new perspective and help you grow as an individual. You may embark on many new experiences whilst travelling which push you to work out what you enjoy in life and subsequently a new career path.
When you travel you often step out of your comfort zone and partake in activities you wouldn’t usually consider. This helps you to learn things about yourself, others and the world. Employers often regard travelling as a positive whilst looking at a CV as it improves self-confidence, communication, budgeting and awareness of others which are all valuable skills.
If you’re at university and you have the option, studying abroad is a great way to gain this experience, and be ready knowing which career path you want to pursue after graduation. Check out our blog for some great tips on how to get the most out of studying abroad.
The crucial thing to take away from this is that we are all unique; the career path that is right for others may not be for you. Take time to work out who you are as an individual and remember there is no shame in putting things on pause to focus on personal wellbeing.
Experiencing career concerns is common; many graduates are in the same position and are going through negative emotions such as self-doubt, which will be temporary.
Follow our 5 steps to eliminate concerns and you will work out which path is right and land your dream graduate job.