Insight

Employability

/ 3 years ago /

 Article by Sascha Gill

4 essential tips for securing a job that’s not related to your degree

Unless you’re one of those blessed with a set career path at the age of 12, the chances are you might have only decided what you want to do with your life while at university. Or you might graduate still not having a clue what career you want to pursue.

Either way, if you decide you want a career in something that isn’t strictly related to your degree, don’t stress. A degree provides you with a foundation of skills and knowledge that will set you up for the working world and open doors in countless different industries, regardless whether you’ve studied the subject or not.

So if you’re looking to get started in an industry, but you’re not quite sure where to start, here are some top tips to get you off the ground.

Decide which career you are actually pursuing

Every year countless graduates leave university with no idea what to do. Some may have a vague interest in a particular industry, but often no clear vision of what job they want within that industry.

For example, you might have always wanted to work in film but never known whether you want to be the next Brad Pitt or Quentin Tarantino. You enjoy writing but have never known whether journalism or publishing is right for you.

 So, first things first, decide which specific career it is you are pursuing before you start doing anything else!

Of course, if you don’t know yet, don’t panic. Try doing some work experience in various areas that interest you, and that should help you find something that you love.

Research, research, research

It is possible to turn whatever you’re passionate about into a career. Whether it’s writing, designing, cooking, fitness or even playing video games – there is a job out there that will allow you to do just that.

The key to finding out how to break into your chosen industry is, of course, to research it.

What are the key skills you need to succeed in the job? Do you need a postgraduate qualification? Do you need to be able to speak any other languages?

Trawl the Internet. Talk to friends and family. Attend networking events. Speak to as many people as possible, even if this means putting in some hours alongside your studies or job.

Plus, all the time you spend chatting will undoubtedly help you build your professional network. That can only be a good thing!

Drunk Schitts Creek GIF by CBC - Find & Share on GIPHY

Work experience and internships

Now you’ve built up a stellar professional network, it’s time to get some real-world experience.

There are hundreds of internship opportunities out there; just fire up the Debut app to see which ones we have available right now. You could secure an internship with top employers including Siemens, Dyson, Deloitte, Barclays or Virgin in just a couple of taps.

However, not all internships are so easy to come by, and others may take a bit of hard graft. Look for opportunities online and social media, or get in touch with one of your professional contacts to see if you can shadow any of them for a bit.

Don’t be disheartened if the whole process takes a while – it took me at least 30 emails before I landed an internship with Lonely Planet magazine.

Funny Cat GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

If you can’t find any experience, create your own! Just remember to make sure no companies are exploiting your free labour before you sign up to work for them.

Keeping in touch with the contacts you make on your internship could even land you a full time position in the future!

Apply, apply, apply

You’ve researched what job you want and done everything in your power to put yourself in the best position to get it. Once you’ve racked up some solid work experience in your chosen industry, it’s time to apply for one of those 9 – 5 job things.

Ass GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Don’t be put off by the fact you don’t feel as experienced as someone who has a degree related to the industry. You may have even gained more real-world experience and contacts than they have, from the all the placements and internships you’ve completed.

When it comes to applying for jobs, try not to be too fussy. Ok, it’s probably not a good idea to apply for engineering jobs if you’re trying to be a filmmaker, but if you see something that’s related to the industry you want to get into, it’s worth applying – no matter what the job role is.

You may end up working in accounts for 6 months within a TV production company, but at least you’ll have your foot in the door!

Just know that although it might take you a bit longer to get there, if you set your mind on something, there’s nothing stopping you from achieving it with some solid work experience and strong networking. Good luck!

 Connect with Debut on FacebookTwitterand LinkedIn for more careers insights.

More from this category

Related

Employability

/3 years ago

This job description shows why we need to Fight For Feedback

A job description that suggests millennials don't understand the real world shows exactly why you need to join Debut's Fight For Feedback campaign.

Read more

Related

Employability

/3 years ago

What to include in the work experience section of your CV

Navigating the work experience section of a CV can be tricky - do you include internships? Don't worry, we've got all your questions answered.

Read more

For the full Insight section, Download Debut today

Debut is available to download in the iOS App Store & Google Play Store