At the start of the academic year, the majority of final year students are panicking about what direction their life will take after graduation. Many of them don’t know what they want to do and some have even convinced themselves that they’re not going to be able to get a job. But this attitude to your future could be what will hold you back.
Luckily we have nine months until then, definitely enough time to get a career plan in action. Be positive and proactive now and you will be successful!
Firstly, evaluate your options. Whether it’s a Masters degree, a Graduate training scheme, an internship, or travelling, the most important thing is to decide what you’re going to do and how you’re going to get there. Easier said than done right?
The thing is, chances are you are already well on your way to improving your skills but don’t even know it. Don’t disregard things you have already done, everything can be turned into something which shows off a desirable quality. Write down what your skills are, see where the gaps lie and try and fill them in this year. Whilst some activities may be time consuming, see it as an investment into your future; what’s more important than that? If you really feel you do not have a lot of time, pick wisely and these activities do not have to come to blows with your degree or social life. Some kind of involvement is better than nothing.
But what if you missed the Bunfight? How do you get involved now? It doesn’t matter if it’s half way through the semester, you can still join societies at any point during the year. Either search for the society on Facebook and join their group or look on the SUSU website at the list of societies and email them. Clubs are always looking for new members, and will happily welcome you. Be positive and proactive now and you will be successful!
For some, the thought of applying for jobs can be daunting. Rather than contacting a company or employer yourself, there are websites that do all the hard work for you, notifying you of vacancies, and deadlines for graduate jobs and internships. Many of you probably already signed up at the Fresher’s Fayre two years ago to Milkround and Target Jobs, but how many of their emails have you actually read? We suspect that, like our inboxes, they’ve been clogging up yours for a long time. But if you use them as a starting point for seeing what opportunities are out there, you might find it’s not as overwhelming as you thought. Be positive and proactive now and you will be successful!
The university’s Careers Destinations department, which is located in Building 37 (Student Services), offers useful CV workshops, as well as application and interview advice sessions which help you to navigate the minefield which is the graduate job market. If you want this advice to fit around you, they also have a careers library with up to date guidebooks. Signing up to websites such as Linkedin is also a brilliant way of following companies that interest you and getting an insight into various industries.
Still feeling uninspired or don’t want to get involved through the university? No problem. We live in a city that provides so many opportunities outside the student bubble. You could shadow someone on the city council for work experience, or look into arts and community life. Just visit the ‘Discover Southampton’ website for more information on ways you can get involved.
Just remember the opportunities to enhance your employability are endless; your future is in your hands! Be positive and proactive now and you will be successful!