Over the last year of my life, I’ve really taken my time thinking about my future. If any of you didn’t know, I am in my third and final year of university; the year that makes you think about reality and who you want to be. Whilst at a young age if someone asked me “What do you want to be when you’re older?” I would come back with an artist, a performer and even a spy – I blame spy kids for that one – at the age of 21, I’m a little stunted on how to answer. Today I wanted to dedicate a post to helping students like myself to show them possible avenues to go down and to maybe help them decide what to do with their future. So if you’re getting stressed that graduation is getting ever closer and you seem to have no life plan of what to do after university, this is the post for you!
First off, try and get yourself down to a career’s counsellor or advice centre. Most universities or colleges have one, and their job is to get you to where you want to be. They will also continue to give you support after you leave university to keep you informed of jobs in your speciality, so make sure you take the time to find out what your university offers you in terms of support.
Next, you’ll want to update your CV; make sure you include any work you’ve done over the years of university, along with opportunities you’ve been able to take part in – university and non-university related -. Also, consider adding extracurricular activities to your CV, these will add to your personality, they show initiative, and could possibly be the thing to make you stand out next to other applicants with similar qualifications. Your CV is not the only thing employers will be looking at; keep your social media channels clean and professional too. Employers are increasingly using social media to interact with potential recruits as well as getting a better idea of you as one of their potential employees. So start getting rid of embarrassing drunken photos from a couple of weeks back!
When starting your job hunt, consider the types of opportunities you want to apply for; self-employment, paid and unpaid internships, development programmes, volunteering and working abroad are all viable options to explore, whether you are looking for more experience or earning your first pay day.
One such company is Unlocked, a two-year leadership development programme aimed at giving new graduates training to become inspirational and supportive leaders. Over two years graduates serve as prison officers, to build skills through a training programme, working with prisoners to identify and implement actions and strategies that will help them break the cycle of reoffending and allow them to enter and stay in society for the long term. During the programme, graduates develop into excellent communicators and project managers, and their time on the programme gives them leadership experience, communication and planning skills along with other skills that are easily transferable to a variety of roles and environments. Benefits of taking part in this training programme include a fully funded master’s degree, transferable skills and experience, a network of employer connections, and a starting salary between £28,456 and £31,453 dependant on location. Leadership training programmes like these are a great way to get a jump start into the world of full-time earning. It’s an easy way to not only get a lot of experience but establish yourself in a paid job and develop connections with potential future employers. If you are unsure of which type of job to go for, then this would be a good way to give yourself some direction and explore a job avenue you hadn’t previously considered. If you’re interested in the Unlocked Leadership Training Programme, make sure you visit their website here. Their current applications are closed but will be reopening in the autumn for those who would like to apply for the program in 2018.
If you’re considering an internship, make sure you take into consideration travel and living expenses. If your position takes two hours by train to get to and you’re earning no money from it, you will have to find some other income to support you as well. Personally – if possible – I would go for a paid internship, that way you don’t have to worry about fitting another job around your internship, stretching yourself too thin and having to worry about travel expenses, bills and so forth.
Last and not least, be patient, keep a thick skin and if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. There are numbers of applicants going for the same opportunities/jobs as you, and very few people get the first job they apply for, the key thing is to learn from those experiences. Even if you don’t get the job always make sure to ask for feedback, you can take this away and then apply this to your next interview to help you land your dream job.
Are you approaching graduation? Let me know what your next step is going to be, I’d love to hear from you!
*Some posts may be sponsored or contain PR/Gifted samples*