- Career and study advice
What's next after graduation
Choosing the next step after graduation
Not sure what you want to do after you finish university? It’s common to be uncertain about your choices after you graduate, and many students find themselves in the same situation. Here are some of our top tips.
IT'S NOT ABOUT PERFECTION
Choosing what to do next isn’t about landing the perfect job or internship, it’s about exploring a range of options that can help improve your skills and education.
Have an open mind to a wide range of industries and job options. For most students, the industry they start working in after graduation may not be the one they’re working in further along their career path. Don’t limit your choices by only considering roles in certain industries.
IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS
It’s probable that your first job will not be exactly what you studied for, or what you want to do in the long run. However, every opportunity you get will be one you can learn valuable skills from.
Look at each opportunity and assess the transferable skills you may gain from the role e.g. working in a customer facing role would be useful for account management jobs.
CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVES
Going straight from university into employment works for some people, but others may find it beneficial to travel, volunteer or to continue further study. Others again may find a way to turn their passions into a business.
Each option will allow you to develop transferable skills and give you experience that will be useful in the future.
THINK ABOUT YOUR INTERESTS
Many employers in the UK look for ‘degree-level’ skills, like problem solving or analytical skills and relevant experience. Consider your skills and interests outside of your degree, as well as skills and education acquired throughout your degree.
Working out what you don’t want to do and why can be a really useful part in deciding what you do want to do.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
As well as considering your skills and interests, knowing the range of opportunities available is an important part of deciding what to do next.
Browsing job adverts online, attending careers events, and speaking to people about their work are all ways to discover different options. For example, remember that marketing jobs don’t just exist in marketing companies, but in all industries from finance and engineering firms, to museums and in healthcare.
The process of choosing what to do after you finish your education can take time. It's important to be patient and persistent, and remain positive.
If you're panicking about the future, focus on your day-to-day life. Make sure you keep a routine and that you're getting regular exercise.
If you're looking for work and worried about having a gap in your resume, take on some temp or volunteer work. Not only will you be gaining invaluable skills, you will also feel accomplished and shows future employers that you have a proactive attitude.