Be it your first or your last year at university, your career plans probably haven’t featured too highly on your list of priorities.
I’ve never found this a big deal, as graduate prospects are generally better than non-graduates. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be one of the few to plan your future sooner rather than later. The success may come more quickly and easily if you have a career and employment plan set out while you’re still studying.
A productive student shouldn’t stop being productive once they’ve graduated. I’m sure you wouldn’t see it that way if you thought about it now, but there is a very real danger of the productivity draining away if you’re not careful.
Therefore, no matter how far in to your degree you are, and no matter what part-time jobs you may have going right now, it’s time to consider three things:
1. Your career goals and ideas;
2. Your abilities and experiences;
3. Your ‘Graduate’ CV.
Over this series of four posts, I will point you toward the things you can do to get a head start in your push to employment nirvana.
So before focusing on the three elements above, let’s today look at why this topic is so important and what a little bit of foresight can do for your prospects.
It makes no difference if you are heading for a BA or a BSc or anything else. Artistic, theory based, or vocational, you’re going to be propelled into the world of work whatever your qualification status is. So you might as well stand up and be counted right now and beat everyone else to the punch.
First off, do you have any career thoughts in mind? If so, you’re doing well. A lot of students – even students studying more specific or vocational degrees – aren’t sure where they’re headed and haven’t spent much time working out a direction. That’s not a problem, but it’s perhaps a little easier for those who already have a path in their mind. An embryonic plan can be subject to change, yet it helps shape and mould.
Secondly, even if you have no proper plan (which is pretty normal), are you aware of and can you easily note down your skills and positive attributes? If you’re left floundering after making a few bland suggestions on your strengths, you’re doing yourself an injustice. There’s a lot more going on with your life than you would think. And there is room for much more too.
Finally, do you have an up-to-date CV? Have you considered the future of your CV? Can you see your current CV developing over time with you, or sitting there getting dusty and feeling unloved? Have you even tried writing a CV?
Not only is the possibility of success and good employability greater when you think things through in advance, but also you can spend tiny chunks of time getting this ready so you don’t need to blitz an amateurish application in the future when it’s too late. A few minutes here and there – and I really do mean a FEW minutes – are all it takes to get started on your masterplan. I’ll explain all in my next posts.
Life after graduation needn’t be a bind and neither should it drag you down. In my next post, I will discuss ‘Career Goals and Ideas’ for those who have an idea of what they want to do. I’ll also see if I can coax more uncertain individuals into finding a spark to get you on the road to the future.
This article is part of the Pushing Toward Employment Nirvana Series. The full content links are: