Thinking about the future can be exhilarating yet nerve-wracking at the same time. With the pandemic adding a sense of uncertainty of how the economy would look, many people have had to realign their short-term plans and change how they see life as a whole.
There might even be a sense of panic about securing a job immediately after graduation for many graduating students. Whether it’s the successes of peers, societal pressures, or feeling anxious about general expectations, it’s understandable that you might feel stressed.
Don’t worry—first of all, you’re not alone in these feelings. Plus, your problems can be addressed with the right tips and tricks in mind. Here are four tips you can consider to start your dream career:
1. Reflect on Yourself—Your Wants, Needs, and Strengths
Before you start searching for job vacancies, you must start with forming yourself as a candidate. Consider your field of study, what you enjoy doing the most, what you want to learn more about, what your best skills are, and what you see yourself doing in the future.
Aside from looking at your career profile, you should also think about the opportunities available that will match what you can provide. For instance, considering the pandemic, think about the hindrances, benefits, or challenges the coronavirus may have on your industry.
Now, as you design your CV and application, note your best skills and strengths, preferably with concrete examples. This is where extracurricular activities come in handy, as well as internships or part-time jobs you may have had before.
2. Identify What You Value in a Career
Now is the time to pick out a company that will be your venue in building your career. Here, you should include the things you value the most. Some things that may sway your decision in accepting job offers are compensation packages, stability, career advancement, work variety, travel perks, social impact, and flexible schedules.
Try to write down these things that you value most and while you’re interviewing, open discussions with your prospective employers and see whether your values align with the company!
3. Design a Job Hunting Checklist
Remember that planning plays a vital role in any project, including your first job after graduation. In this stage, you must try breaking down the process into small achievable steps. This way, you will be organised, and you’ll have an overview of how the following months of your life would look like. You can also include dates of upcoming job fairs in your area so that you can prepare for those events.
4. Live a Life of Continuous Learning
Yes, you are graduating soon, but the learning doesn’t end there. As you start a new job, you also have to prepare yourself for growth and changes—whether it’s about your role, your company, or the industry as a whole.
You should also consider getting a new degree for better opportunities, maybe taking up a doctorate program or a fellowship option. You can even use the pandemic while you are transitioning from studying to working, as there are many online courses and some with certifications that might help you level up your skills and elevate your profile for hiring!
Final Thoughts: Don’t Stress, Enjoy the Process
In the months before you prepare for graduation, it’s normal to worry about what the future holds and what would be behind your decisions. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and take the time to appreciate the process and follow the tips we've shared above. You can also talk to people who went through these things in recent years and ask them for pieces of advice!
Are you ready to start the hunt? You can check out The UK Careers Fair for our upcoming recruitment events, or you can make the most of our free career advice resources to help you prepare!