A lot happens after graduation, many graduates are torn between what is the next thing for me and where do i begin from here… Once you graduate the world’s your oyster but figuring out what to do next can be a daunting prospect. Take a look at some of your post-university options that might interest you
After spending four or five years studying, adjusting to life after university can be tough. Your graduation ceremony signifies the end of an era and the start of something new but you may be left wondering, ‘what next?’
There are a number of different routes to take as you contemplate what to do after university – and everyone’s journey will be different. You can search for a graduate job, enrol on a postgraduate course, set up your own business, volunteer or travel the world.
Whichever path you choose the competitive nature of the jobs market means that it’s important to take full advantage of any free time you have to make plans and start putting them into action.
Get a graduate Job: You need to put yourself out there to get noticed so work on building contacts with industry professionals. This can be done through work experience, attending networking events such as careers fairs and through your social media channels. LinkedIn has developed into a recruitment, as well as a networking platform, so if you’re not on it, you could be missing out.
Finding a job can take a while. But you should be careful not to allow a gap to develop on your CV, as potential employers may question it later at interviews. If you’re struggling to find a job straight after graduation fill your time with internships, volunteering or part-time work.
Become Self-employed: Sometimes you need to think outside the box a little. If you’re struggling to find your dream job why not create it yourself by setting up your own company? Perhaps you have a great business idea or believe that your final-year project has commercial potential. If so putting your entrepreneurial skills to the test could be a smart move.
If you have the confidence, tenacity and business acumen to get your organisation off the ground, here are some of the advantages to self-employment:
- independence and autonomy – to make your own decisions
- control – over who you work with and the type of work you do
- freedom – to work when you like on projects that make your heart sing
- flexibility – to fit work commitments in with family and other interests
- opportunities – to build a portfolio of activities funded by different sources and to respond to ideas and proposals as you see fit
- recognition – you’re able to take the credit for everything that you do, create, design or invent.
However, you need to be sure that self-employment is right for you. Being your own boss might sound like fun but as the owner of a business you’ll need to juggle a number of responsibilities such as providing a service, marketing the business and financial and staff management. You’ll also have to work to bring in customers and deal with the uncertainty surrounding the availability of work. Self-employment can also affect your home life when the boundaries between work and leisure become blurred.
Pursue Post Graduate Study: An alternative option is to return to university to study at postgraduate level, a route that many have found incredibly rewarding. However, you’ll need to make sure you are doing this for the right reasons.
Find out more about postgraduate study and then search for courses. To broaden your experience and cultural horizons you may also want to consider studying abroad.
Don’t take on a Masters degree to stall for time or to boost general employability. Courses are expensive and unnecessary for certain jobs. Before committing to postgraduate study make sure you have valid reasons for doing so and research course and institution options thoroughly. Speak to your careers service to weigh up your postgraduate options and talk to family members, postgraduate course leaders and people already in the jobs you’d like to do to ask if a Masters is worthwhile.
Take a gap Year: If you want to see more of the world, learn languages, experience different cultures and meet new people before settling down to a work routine you could take a gap year. Back-packing makes you a much more interesting job candidate and can make you more employable in the long run. Taking time out to travel demonstrates maturity, good organisation and planning skills and self-sufficiency.
Working while travelling is also a great way to boost your CV and develop a range of skills. Taking a year out to weigh up your options, decide where your professional interests lie, travel and gain life experience also helps you to make more informed career decisions in the future.
If this sounds like something you’d like to do you’ll need to have an action plan in place for when your return. Don’t expect a job to be waiting for you when you get back to reality. To find out what it’s like to get a job in another country, explore working abroad.
Hope this helps someone. congrats as you begin the next phase of your life.
Post Cred: prospect.ac.uk