8 Ways To Quick Start Your Career As A Graduate
By Greg Nunan
The days when you could simply walk into a wonderful job with your shiny new degree seem to have gone. Today’s employers want experience as well as qualifications. You may have a 1st in PPE from Oxford but if you have no manners and can’t prove that you’re organised, your chances of stepping into a successful job are slim.
1. Get some office experience
People from all walks of life end up taking call centre jobs. Not only is this a convenient way of earning some much needed cash but you’ll also gain communication skills that you’ll be able to add to your CV. Employers are looking for reliability and the fact that you can show that you’ve managed to retain a role in a commercial setting will help.
2. Write a perfect CV
Even if you’ve never held down a paid job in your life, it’s surprising how you’ll be able to fill in a CV with some of your university experiences, and other skills. If you were a prefect at school, that shows that you enjoy responsibility, think laterally and you may find that you have more experience than you thought.
Admittedly you won’t get paid to be an intern, you should receive some expenses though, but you’ll gain experience. Most fields now use the intern process as a type of extended job interview, if you’re lucky and you’re working in your chosen field you may even be offered a full time career.
A recent article in The Guardian stressed the importance of networking. You can network on social media; many have found jobs through this route or you can look about for graduate career events that are becoming increasingly more popular across the UK.
5. Teach English Overseas
If you can’t gain a foothold in your chosen career in the UK, why not work overseas for a while teaching English? You don’t necessarily have to have a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification but it will help. You’ll come back with experience, you can prove that you have working knowledge of other languages and cultures and your CV will be much more enticing for future employers.
For those seeking a position in the arts then volunteering with a local theater, gallery, museum or cultural festival will give you an advantage over other job applicants. You’ll be able to make contacts; you might even find a real job through the experience. Just remember to take the volunteering experience as seriously as if it were a paid job.
7. Work for yourself
Some people simply don’t fit in to the corporate mold. They might create their own empires but could never work for others. If you think that this might be your career path start reading the blogs and writings of these entrepreneurs. You won’t necessarily be the next Richard Branson or Alan Sugar but at least you’ll have an idea what makes them tick.
8. Experience is important
Even if you end up stacking shelves at your local supermarket, at least you’ve got a job. With 19% of graduate unemployed, life is tough when you graduate, you’ll have to use all the skills you employed in research and debate at university to ensure that you too don’t get left behind.