Career choice – top tips from Careers Consultants

choose-the-right-direction-1536336_960_720Exams are over! But you might be wondering … what next? Firstly, don’t panic! We’ve heard almost 50% of UK undergraduates enter their final year of study not knowing what they want to do next… so you are not alone! 

We see lots of students at this time of year who don’t have a career in mind – remember you don’t need to have a plan to come and see us for a 1-2-1 appointment (see here).

To get you started in thinking about your options, we asked our Careers Consultants to share their top tips …

    • Work experience is invaluable to help you work out what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. Only a minority of students will secure big name internships whilst studying, but working in any environment will help you learn about work cultures, organisations and working life. You might discover that you actually hate working in an office or that you definitely want to work as part of a team.
    • If you know what you want to do for the next 40 years… fantastic & good luck!  However you don’t need to have your whole life mapped out… all you need to decide is what you want to do next.

Careers Consultant Caroline tells us … “When I graduated, I joined a big business to work in Marketing, but realised quickly that actually what fascinated me were the relationships between brands & their consumers and that there was a different job in a different business that would allow me to work on that all day long – until I actually worked inside a business, I had no idea a) what really motivated me and b) that such a perfect job actually existed.”

    • Start by looking at Prospects’ ‘what can I do with my degree’ section – this gives a general overview of the options available with your degree, the skills you can demonstrate and, importantly, where you can look for vacancies. You could even try the Prospects Planner quiz which matches your skills and interests with suggested roles.
    • Do you know anyone who has a job that sounds interesting? Could you contact them to try and find out more about it?
    • See our ‘Getting into …’ industry guides, covering a range of sectors including marketing, charities, business & finance and the arts. These are written for Queen Mary students and give a useful overview of a sector, common job titles and how to get in.
    • LinkedIn is great as a research tool as well as a way of connecting to people and expanding your network in new areas. See what QMUL alumni from your course have gone on to do, what their job involves and find out more about companies you’re interested in.
    • Listen to the short videos on Career Player. You’ll hear reviews of different jobs. Don’t just listen though – take notes and answer the following questions – What sparks an interest and why?  What makes me think NO WAY! (and why?). Shortlist 2 or 3 careers – you can bring these in to a 1-2-1 discussion with a Careers Consultant.
    • Find the job sectors that fit your image of yourself – are you the suited, booted corporate type? Creative and alternative, wanting a quirky environment?  Passionate about making a difference, need to be with like-minded people? Once you have some ideas, ask a Careers Consultant for some pointers – they can suggest a couple of sectors to research.
    • Organisations like enthusiasm for their services or products. Is there a service or product you particularly like and/or use extensively, and you think you could improve? This can point the way to the right place to work for you – often more important than finding the right job title!
    • Once you’re back for the new term, go to as many employer events as you can, there’s loads happening on campus each year (keep an eye on our events page). Keep an open mind – most graduates end up with a job title they never imagined, often with an employer they didn’t know existed.

Remember, we’re open throughout the summer and offer 1-2-1 appointments with a Careers Consultant, where we can help you explore your options. Call 020 7882 8533 to book yours now!

 

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