When you’re in university you may think that you have your graduate years all mapped out already. Perhaps you expect to start fresh out of university as a graduate looking for your first job, ready to start your career. Or you may be considering furthering your studies or taking a much-needed gap year. You may even find that yourself at a crossroads, unsure of what the next steps are for you. Regardless of whichever predicament you may find yourself in, there are a few things that every graduate should consider as they transition into the next stage of their life. This is a one stop list of 5 steps you should consider that will prepare you for life after university.
Just graduated from University? Here are 5 steps for you as a graduate looking for your first Job…
Not sure of what job is right for you yet
Despite what anyone says, it’s okay to not be 100% sure of which career path you want to take as a graduate. Transferable skills are skills that you have gained from one experience that you can apply to future experiences. For example, IT skills are not only useful in IT and computing industries but they’re also useful across varying industries such as accounting or digital marketing. Shortly, after graduating, I was split between wanting to work in two different industries, so I ensured that whichever work experience I completed gave me useful transferable skills in either industry thus ensuring I kept my career options open shall I wish to change career paths.
Find ways to bridge potential employment gaps
For many graduates, getting a job right out of university isn’t always that easy. There are some people who seek employment for months graduating thus causing the infamous ’employment gaps’. If that is the predicament you find yourself in, then worry not because there are ways to avoid or even bridge employments gaps on your CV.
- Work experience – Most work experience is unfortunately unpaid but nonetheless useful to add to your CV.
- Programs & courses – There are so many free courses and programs, specially designed for graduates to gain useful skills and experiences. DigitalGrads is a fitting example of this.
- Be a self-starter-Whether you’re writing a blog, making one of your own or freelancing for other people and companies, just make sure you’re doing something useful with your time, something that will build your skills and/or attract you to employers.
If you have a student account, find out what happens to your account after graduating
Many of us went into university with student accounts accompanied by large overdraft limits and little knowledge of what happens to these accounts after graduating. To avoid any fees sneaking up on you, it’s worth going to your bank and finding out what exactly happens to your account when you graduate.
Create a portfolio
This is perhaps more geared towards graduates wanting to work in the creative industry but having a portfolio is important. I think it advantageous to have a portfolio to accompany your CV. It’s a fantastic way to show employers that you are competent in the are you are applying for besides your CV and Linkedin profile.
Take advantage of the freebies whilst you still have the chance!
As university students, so many freebies and student discounts were available to us that many times, we took them for granted. You will surely begin to miss those freebies when the student loan instalments are no more. In most cases, you will be given a few extra months after graduating before the freebies and student discounts start to fade away. Make use of them before it’s too late.
Last but not least, STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE!
Many times, we look at our agemates and how they’re progressing in their life and career to measure where we think we should be in our lives. Freshly graduating from university can sometimes be one of the most precarious periods in our lives. There will be plenty of times where you’re tempted to look at your agemates who may or may not be ahead of you career-wise and compare yourselves to them forgetting that everyone’s circumstances are different.
Last step: my lasting piece of advice to graduates would be to focus on navigating your own lane at your own pace and do what feels best for you but also consider your future and where you want to be in the next 5 to 10 years when doing so.
If you are looking for your first digital marketing job as a recent graduate, you may be eligible to complete our free training programme. Apply today and learn about SEO, PPC, social media and more!