Help me – I’m a graduate. What do I do now?

There is always a point when realisation hits that not every recent graduate has a full-time graduate role to walk straight into. In fact, if you find yourself in this position then you are actually in the majority. Truth is that when your last few months have been focused on the priority of academic deadlines and exams, your career may well have had to take a back seat. But now it’s time to change that, and here’s how:

  • Reflect on your successes

The immediate period following graduation can be a tricky time, particularly if you may be comparing your situation unfavourably to that of others. One thing is essential for the months ahead and that is a positive mind set. Give yourself a pat on the back for your achievements to date and reflect on the skills it took to get you there.

  • Identify your gaps

In order for things to change, you need to make changes! Identify what these need to be. Are you lacking in work experience? Are your application techniques a little rusty? Do you still need to do research on the job market to see where your skills best fit? Remember that all of these problems are solvable.

  • Use your networks

We have the most to learn from those around us. But are we using our networks to their full capacity? Not only can our friends and family sometimes actively help us to get a lucky break into work but they are also a useful (and underutilised) source of information on the world of work. Put time aside to talk to people you know about their jobs. It may just help to shape your own career decisions.

  • Get active

Whatever your situation, it is crucial that you start moving forwards to avoid the stagnation mind-set. Set yourself small targets – initially this might be about getting your CV up to date, getting LinkedIn savvy, researching recruitment agencies or applying to x number of jobs per week – so that you can feel the progress in what you are doing.

  • Consider a break

While some of you may be champing at the bit to get into the professional workplace, others among you may really benefit form a bit of time out to give clarity of mind and a sense of perspective. Travelling, volunteering, exploring short courses… all these can be useful ways to spend time without pressure, which allow us to reach the right decisions about our career futures.

Remember, we offer 1-2-1 appointments with a Career Consultant, and graduates can access these for 2 more years!


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