I think I can speak for a reasonable number of students when I say that there is one question that we all fear and will take ridiculously extreme measures to avoid answering. Such a question may well be a synonym for the plague, as nothing makes us want to make a run for it quite like being asked ‘What do you want to do after Uni?’ And yes, I know that I probably broke the ‘secret’ student code by stating that question. But, I think it is time that you faced your fears too and tackled this question head on!
So, you may be wondering how exactly can we reduce the anxiety inducing impact of such a question? That’s where the purpose of this blog post comes into play, as I rely some tips and advice from my personal struggle with the dreaded question.
- It’s okay not to know what you want to do.
As important as it is to find what the right career path may be for you, it is important to keep reminding yourself that it is okay not to know what you want to do exactly after you graduate. Once, you’ve accepted the fact that you’re one of many other students struggling to find the answer to the same exact question, I think some of the anxiety surrounding such question can be reduced. (But, please do contact the University’s Counselling Service and get help if you’re suffering from anxiety or any other mental health issues.)
Also, remember that there are people out there who have spent years doing a job thinking it was the right job for them, only to later realise that their true calling lies in a different direction. So, the moral here is that finding the answer to the question is not always that straight forward and it may take you a life time but that’s also okay because that’s life.
- Be proactive and do your research.
Having said that it is okay not to know what you want, that does not mean to imply that it’s okay not to do anything about it! You need to be proactive in finding possible career paths that you may want to pursue upon graduation. After all, this is your future we are talking about and so you need to take charge and be proactive in doing your research.
Furthermore, I would recommend that you look at the careers service website and see the possible jobs that you can do with your degree upon graduation as that can help you with brainstorming possible careers of interest to you. Another thing which I found to be quite helpful is doing Prospects’ online Career Planner Quiz. Not only is the quiz quick and easy to go through but at the end of it they match you with the job role that is best suited for you, relative to your answers.
- Ask for help and visit the Careers Service
Being proactive does not mean to say that you need to do this all on your own. The University’s Careers Service provides excellent help and guidance so why not make the most out of it. I suggest that you make an appointment with a careers adviser or visit the JobShop located in the SU and speak to one of the advisers there. The careers advisers are good at what they do and have undoubtedly come across many clueless students like you, me included. Their advice is of extreme value as they are well experienced in their role and can also help with improving your CV and covering letter amongst other things. So take advantage of this great service that the university has available to us.
- Attend a careers fair
I think attending a careers fair is one of the most if not the most crucial of steps to take to find the right career path for yourself. The careers service host various fairs throughout the year including ones which are catered to specific job sectors like PR and marketing for example. As someone who has attended a couple of them including one on Advertising, I can tell you that they give you a great insight onto what different jobs require and it also allows you to speak directly to individuals working in such sectors and so you get first hand insight on whether such jobs are the right fit for you and can begin the process of elimination.
- Get some work experience
It may seem strange that I’m suggesting that you gain more work experience when you’re unsure about your career path after finishing university. However, if you’ve followed some of the tips given earlier you should have some ideas of the jobs which are of interest to you. So, what better way to find out if this is the right job for you, other than by getting first hand and hands on experience of the job itself. Even if the job does not turn out to be of the right fit for you, don’t forget that it will still help in boosting your CV.
So, these were some of my tips which hopefully have inspired some of you to take the plunge and begin your quest in finding the right career for you.