Researching and selecting your career.
Two maxims of recruitment:
- Investing time in researching career options will pay dividends in the long run.
- The earlier you begin planning your career, the easier it will be to enter it.
But where do you start?
Familiarise yourself with the career resources at your disposal
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already clued up, but I’ll list some anyway: university careers centre, careers fairs and insight days, your network of professionally established acquaintances, the internet. These resources will not only provide inspiration at the outset, but can be utilised and cross-referenced at every stage in your career planning.
You might start by contemplating which careers suit someone with your qualifications
There is a wealth of information online that summarises the typical degree-to-career transitions, and these are likely to throw up at least a few occupations that you hadn’t previously considered. Career destination articles are there to expand, rather than limit, your horizons, so don’t feel like you’ve studied yourself into a corner. There are many more career opportunities out there for you that lie off the beaten track.
Your degree will open many doors for you, but what skills has it furnished you with?
In tandem with your research into the popular career destinations of your peers, you should give yourself an audit, listing both short-term motivators and long-term aspirations. Consider your interests, and whether they can be catered to in a professional capacity. If you can’t exactly match a career to one of your hobbies, at least try and match one to your strengths. It’s not a bad consolation prize – after all, everyone enjoys performing well at something.
For those who might struggle to give an objective self-assessment – and it is something of an oxymoron – many people place stock in personality tests, which can provide valuable insight into an assortment of relevant personal traits.
Once you’ve identified an area of interest, use the aforementioned resources to explore it further.
To start with, investigate the roles, entry routes and associated salaries. As you become more resolute, research other factors like industry trends, professional qualifications and scope for specialisation, as these will doubtlessly impact your career in the long run.
If you have settled on the career for you, there are a variety of platforms set up to introduce you to your first graduate job.
If there are particular organisations that take your fancy, then keep a vigilant eye on their careers webpages and connect with them via social media. It would be wise to widen your scope, though, by consulting the internet’s many jobs boards, or even a recruitment agency.
If you only use one careers resource, try Inside Careers. Our website encompasses all of the information listed above, from outlining your options through to advice about applying for the vacancies on our jobs board. As a source of inspiration, read our employee profiles to gain insight into working life within specific roles. If you can’t make a recruiter’s insight day, browse our series of employer Q&As. We aim to cover a select number of specialist professions more comprehensively than anyone else. Our articles are written by professionals in these fields – and they’re free!