Choosing a career is a tough decision and many people who have left University will confess that they haven’t figured out exactly what they want to do yet! Filling out your UCAS application aged 17, you may have had an idea of what you wanted to be that doesn’t ring true anymore – for me it was a dream of being Beyoncé’s backing dancer yet I am now a Social media marketer! The fact is, you will need to sit down and think about what you want to do next. Read our 4 things to think about before selecting a graduate career before making up your mind!
- What do you enjoy?
OK so we’re not talking about 2-4-1 Jägerbombs down the student union, what do you enjoy in the field of your degree / work? It might be that you’re really creative and like working on new ideas, or you could be really confident and enjoy presenting to a large group of people. Every job is different so you need to make sure your personality is compatable with the job itself. E.g. If you studied computer science but are very shy you may enjoy autonomous projects as a web developer, or if you’re bubbly and confident and like working to a fast pace you could suit a career in sales! Make sure the job description sounds like you will be interested in the role, enjoy the working environment and have an opportunity to grow!
- What are the companies like?
Once you’ve found a role you enjoy you need to delve into the company to make sure it will be the right fit for you (and vice versa). Take a look at the ‘About Us’ section on their website and see if they have a company Twitter / Facebook / Google+ / Instagram as these often give you a little more of an insight into what it’s like to work there. You will gain a better idea of what skills / traits you will need to get the role so the more research you can do the better!
- What training / support will they offer?
After 3 years of study you may shudder at the thought of going through more training programmes however for many careers it is essential that you continue to train to progress and keep up to date with the latest practices / technologies. Find out what opportunities for training there would be and whether these are funded by the company or as part of your salary structure. It could be the deciding factor if you are torn between two different job offers!
- What level will I start at?
Although you have just completed your 3 (or more) years of study, got that all important degree and donned the cap and gown to collect it, you need to understand that you will likely start at the bottom still. That doesn’t mean making cups of tea and filing – but you will need to gain commercial experience in order for your career (and salary) to progress. Be realistic about starting salary and don’t out price yourself from something that could be a fantastic opportunity for your career!
Sophie Heaton (Digital Campaign Manager)