This post was written by a member of the Debut Student Publisher Network. April has been pondering her possibilities after graduation lately. Do they always lead to a permanent work contract? Perhaps not…
As I approach graduation, I can feel the tension rise among my peers. The dreaded question ‘what are your plans for next year?’ seems to always cause mini panic attacks when asked. As important as that decision may feel, it’s essential to remember that graduation is only the beginning. It does not mean you need to immediately find your life long career or sign a long-term work contract to a job.
There’s nothing wrong with not knowing what you to do. Instead, this could be an exciting time of experimentation and exploring different job options. Try to look at the time after graduation as a chance to further develop your skills. It’s also the perfect opportunity to discover what it is that you really enjoy doing. There are a lot of options out there…
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Sometimes it takes leaving home to get a new perspective, not just on a new country or culture, but also personally. Taking a year to travel could be a great opportunity to earn some money and see what the world beyond your home town has to offer.
There are plenty of great organisations out there. Good examples are The British Council, who provide teaching jobs abroad and Cambridge’s Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) courses. If you’re not interested in teaching, then there are also volunteering opportunities, conservation projects and many other possibilities that could make you a more interesting job candidate in the future.
Learn a new language
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Employers love to see multiple languages on a CV. The benefits for hiring bilingual employees are innumerable. For example, if their company has an international outreach, then they’ll value employees who can speak more than one language.
However, learning a language is hard. It requires discipline and effort and is a great way to improve your confidence and multitasking skills. Can’t just go on Duolingo and expect to be fluent! Why not try looking at some language immersion courses abroad?
Do some charity or volunteering work
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While making those key career decisions, why not spend some time giving back to the community? Volunteering with local or national charities is a great way to gain organisational, admin and communication skills, as well as knowing that your time is being spent productively helping those who need it.
Get some more experience
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Just because you may no longer be a student at university, doesn’t mean that it’s too late to apply for internships and work experience placements. Try researching programmes from different sectors and apply for what interests you.
Experience is a great way to learn. Maybe you won’t know that you want to become a paediatrician until you try some hospital experience working as a healthcare assistant to nurses.
The world is your oyster. It’s up to you to put the effort in and explore the options out there.
Work to save money
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Instead of rushing to accepting the first 9 to 5 job that you’re offered why not continue with some menial work.
Postgraduate study and masters can be expensive, and most entry level jobs offer quite low pay. Bar work or waitressing could be the best way to save money while working on your CV and investigating future careers.
Do more study
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If the thought of graduation and leaving the academic environment forever feels you with dread, then there is of course the opportunity to consider doing more studying. Do some research into master programmes and see if there is anything that interests you.
Postgraduate study is a great way to fine tune the knowledge you have in a more specialised area. And it gives you more time to think more about what you want to do, so hopefully as you reach another graduation, you’ll be feeling a lot more prepared than you do now!