"The end of the academic year is fast approaching and for those that have already secured a graduate job, congratulations! For those that are yet to, don't despair. Post graduation, this could very well be the time when opportunity knocks, so long as you make it."
The end of the academic year is fast approaching and for those that have already secured a graduate job, congratulations! For those that are yet to, don't despair. Post graduation, this could very well be the time when opportunity knocks, so long as you make it.
Not having a graduate job in tow is far from the end of the world, what's important is to think positively and more importantly to think constructively about what you are going to do next. Cliche as it may seem, it's a good idea to sit down, gather your thoughts and make a plan of how you want the next few months, or even the next few years of your life to play out. If you're not quite sure yet, as many students aren't, about exactly what you want to do career wise, then this is the time to find that out. But that doesn't mean you should go around guns blazing and start doing everything and anything as you see fit, that would just be rather inefficient. Instead, try and narrow down your likes and dislikes, and subsequently the career paths that appeal to you.
From there, it's time to focus on becoming knowledgeable about, and gaining experience in your chosen field. Work experience is of course a top priority here, not only in terms of future employability, but also in order to determine whether or not your chosen field is really for you. Work experience can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from part-time jobs, to volunteering, to entrepreneurship, to long and short term internships. You could also consider enrolling in a suitable course to try and get a qualification or a diploma which could help set you apart from your peers. Either way, now that time is on your side, it's a great chance to explore all the opportunities available to you, find which one(s) works best for you and get the ball rolling. It's likely that this will not be a short lived affair and it's equally unlikely to be a walk in the park. But as you will be potentially putting in the foundations for the next few years of your life, that's to be expected.
So that's the experience side of things. But don't forget that knowledge is power and it's equally important to know exactly what is going on in the industry sector that you want to work in. For this it's important to read, read, read and then read some more. And don't just limit your reading to a magazine a two, or a few online sites here and there, why not go the whole nine yards? Compile your own reading list consisting of a combination of newspapers, blogs, magazines, trade publications, management books and recommended titles by experts within your field. No one will ever criticise you for having read too much, and the more you know, so long as it's relevant, the better it is for you.
So not having a graduate job secured at this stage is by far no means the end of the world. On the contrary, it only means a slight detour whilst you embark on a temporary journey of exploration. And during that exploration, provided that you're focused and committed, opportunity shall knock. Be sure to answer.
Charles, GRB Journalist
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The UK's leading independent graduate recruitment consultancy.