Summer is on its way! This means longer evenings, warmer days, lots of barbeques and - for lots of final year University students – mass panic. Final exams are approaching faster than Usain Bolt’s sprint time and assignments seem to be never ending. ‘Will I even manage to get through these next few weeks and make it to graduation?!’ You ask yourself while surrounded by a flurry of papers and notes, brushing away the biscuit crumbs from your laptop and trying to block out the sound of the annoying person next to you eating their sandwich obnoxiously loud in the library. The answer is YES. You will get through this, and you will come out the other end as a graduate in a few months’ time, ready to take on the world. Which leads to the question… What next? The thought of life outside of University can be daunting, and so we have compiled some top tips to take note of to help ensure that you are readily prepared for and feeling positive about the next chapter in your life.
1. Try not to compare yourself to other people
So, Jack on your course has had a graduate job secured since before Christmas and he STILL won’t stop going on about it, and your flatmate Sarah has been accepted onto a Master’s programme and can’t wait to start. This is wonderful for them, but for you (and many others) it can ignite a forest fire of worry, doubt and insecurity - especially if you don’t have anything lined up. In this situation, you must remember that comparison will kill you. Focusing on someone else’s life and how yours does not seem as prepared, is a sure-fire way to kill your confidence and knock your enthusiasm, which is what you desperately do not need at this vital point in your life. Instead, try to consider your future goals and dreams. Do you want to go straight into employment? Are you still interested in the topic you have studied? (Believe me, people change their mind on this more often than you think.) Have you considered post-graduate opportunities? Would you like to go travelling? Would you like to run a puppy shelter and not talk to people ever again? All of these questions will help you to build an understanding of what YOU want, which in turn will make it easier for you to see positively into the future and ignore what other people are doing.
2. Don’t be afraid to apply for ‘normal’ jobs
Unfortunately, completing a degree does not necessarily mean you will score a graduate job. When you go to University, you may envision that by the time you need to search for employment that companies will be desperate to have your knowledge and expertise on board. In reality, there are so many higher-educated people searching for employment that it can be incredibly difficult to score a graduate job, especially if you don’t have much work experience. Don’t be afraid to apply for non-graduate jobs and junior positions in various sectors – especially if you’re not 100% certain of what you want to go into. This may seem disheartening as you have worked for several years towards a degree with hopes to earn more money straight off the bat, but in the long run it will help you. You will be able to gain valuable work experience which will then make you more employable for future roles (you can generally apply for graduate roles up to 2 years after you’ve graduated, sometimes more!) and it will help you realise what you really want to do. You may even find a passion for something that you never thought you would!
3. Utilise local recruitment agencies
Whether you’re graduating with a degree in Finance, History or even Education, it is always a good idea to register with the recruitment agencies in your area as soon as you can. They will be able to help you with career-related aspects such as CV writing, CPD (Continuous Professional Development) courses, and ultimately securing you employment. Many recruitment agencies will be able to offer you long-term and permanent opportunities, as well as short-term and day-to-day work. Many people are sceptical of day-to-day work, however if you are unsure of what you would like to do or you are saving up to travel, then temporary recruitment could be the perfect opportunity for you! Whether you’re looking for something permanent or just want to go with the flow, recruitment agencies will be able to help you.
Simply Education wish all students graduating in summer 2017 the very best of luck! If you are student who is soon to become a Newly Qualified Teacher then why not get in contact with us today and see how we can help kick-start your teaching career?