Your one stop shop for advice on finding your dream graduate role to kick start your career.
Whether you’re a recent graduate or have a few years’ experience under your belt, looking for a new job is a daunting process for everyone.
But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place.
Here on our Graduate Careers pages, you’ll find plenty of information and career advice to help you forge the best path for you.
Keep calm and reflect…
It can be hard deciding the best career path for you, but it’s worth putting in some time to decide what direction you want to head in, before you start firing off your CV. Here are some tactics and resources you can use to help you reflect.
What are you interested in?
Gather together examples of anything that interests you. Don’t hold back - this is your opportunity to explore every avenue open to you. Use an app such as pocket to create an online record or go old-school with a newspaper and highlighter pen.
Ultimately, your aim is to gather together a list of topics that you are genuinely interested in and dare I say, passionate about.
What are you good at?
Now create a second list of your strengths, where have you had success in your life to date? What comes easily to you? Ask your teachers, friends and family for their objective opinion too. Don’t be shy, list out every single skill and strength that you have.
The sweet spot
Now for the creative bit. Compare your two lists so far and brainstorm. What jobs can you think of that combine both what you’re good at and what you’re interested in? Go for as many as you can and resist the urge to discount them as soon as you’ve thought of them; the aim of the game is to generate as many as possible.
Only when you have a long list is it time to move to the next stage, which is sorting your list. I recommend working through and deciding which you want to flag with 'Find out More' and which you want to mark as 'Park', aiming to halve your overall list length.
Then rank your 'Find out More' list from 'most interested' to 'least interested'. Then it’s time to find out more about these jobs. I recommend starting with the top 3 jobs and use a variety of sources to truly understand what they involve. Make use of the internet, books and speak to people who already do those jobs.
Don’t be afraid to approach people you don’t know; many people are flattered to give advice and information when asked nicely! What does a typical day look like? How did they get into the profession? What is the typical career path? What qualifications are needed? What is the average salary? What do they love about their job? What do they find challenging?
However, no amount of questioning can make up for some real-life work experience in your desired profession and this itself can also open up opportunities. Depending on the role, you may need to start with unpaid internships or work shadowing where you can see whether the reality matches your expectations.