Graduating from university is an exciting time. For those that have chosen their career, the prospect of what can be achieved will be a huge motivation in the search for jobs. However, for students that have not decided where their career path lies, the excitement of graduation can be combined with feelings of anxiety.

Choosing the Right Career

There are a number of activities which students can perform to determine what type of job they would enjoy. Writing a series of lists can be very helpful. It is a good idea to start with the interests you have. This might include reading, writing, playing sports, socialising with friends or using a computer. It doesn’t matter whether the interest seems irrelevant to job opportunities as it is a useful way of compiling a personal profile. It is also useful to write down what skills you have. The combination of interests and skills may provide a clear answer about the right career. If not, it will help you to prepare your CV.

Throughout some university courses there are opportunities to take part in work-experience programmes. Often these are organised by the university and provide students with important learning opportunities in the job market. If this is not an option as part of the university curriculum, it is still an important activity to consider. Organising work placements yourself can be more difficult. However, most employers are keen to cooperate and will often offer a few weeks of non-paid work. In some instances, work experience has led to permanent employment for students after they graduate. Even if permanent employment is not offered, it still enhances a CV.

Another feature of university life is access to career advisory services, where students can talk about their aspirations and seek advice or information on a chosen career. Often, career advisors are people that have spent time in various industries and can offer unique personal experience. They can often provide practical advice, such as how to write an engaging CV or fill out application forms. They will often suggest the best companies to apply to or offer career assessments that align a student’s personality and skills to a range of careers. A careers advisor will often have access to information such as employment rates in particular industries, average earnings and sectors with the best growth potential.

Starting a First Job

Career choices are mostly influenced by the type of degree studied. For example, people studying journalism are likely to be attracted to jobs in the media industry, students graduating in English literature may go on to become teachers and architecture students may be attracted to BREEAM jobs. However, this is not always the case. Many students pick an undergraduate degree without a clear idea of the type of job they will want after graduation, since they are teenagers when they make the decision. At this stage of life and without much in the way of experience, it is difficult to be certain of such things.

Graduation provides a sense of achievement but the thrill of being offered your first job can be equally, if not more, exciting. For graduates that find themselves in a job suited to them, it can be the first step on the career ladder. Unfortunately, some graduates do not find that perfect first job. Negative factors may be the work environment, colleagues or the industry itself. The positive thing to remember is that a university degree can open many doors – to other companies, a different industry or further training and qualifications.

About the author: Francesca is a freelance writer based in the UK. She enjoys using her passion for writing to share her knowledge on a variety of subjects, from careers and education, to fashion and beauty. This article was produced on behalf of En-spiral.


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