How to Pick Your Graduate Career

Choosing which career path you want to take after completing your degree can be challenging and daunting. If you don’t even know where to start with picking your graduate career, you’ve come to the right place.

Breaking down your decision-making process into manageable steps will help you to pick your graduate career and to figure out what your next step is.

Here’s what to do:

1. Find out what jobs suit you

It’s important to find a career that you will enjoy, that will keep you motivated and that you will be able to excel in. To help come up with some options, try asking yourself the questions below:

  • What am I good at?
  • What am I interested in?
  • What motivates me?
  • What was my favourite aspect of my studies at university?
  • What lifestyle do I want?
  • What do I want to achieve from my career?
  • What jobs are of interest to me?

These questions will help you to identify your strengths and what you are looking for. Careers that you are considering should ideally match up with your answers.

If you need some extra help in figuring out what roles would suit your personality, then take our What Career Path Does Your Personality Suit? quiz.

2. Consider your options

Once you have established what areas would suit your skills and interests, make a shortlist of 5 roles to research further. Consider what these roles can offer you in terms of career progression, training, salary and benefits. You should also find out what the entry requirements usually are to ensure that you meet them.

What is on offer will vary from company to company, so try to establish an overview and make a note of any stand-out companies that you think you may be interested in.

When you know a little bit more about the roles that you are interested in you will be able to decide whether you need to develop any certain skills or to acquire further experience.

3. Research the sector and job market

Ideally you will want to enter into a career and industry that is going somewhere. Conduct some research on the sector that you are interested in and establish what roles are in demand and what jobs are in decline.

4. Decide on a size

You should consider what size company would best suit you and what you are looking for. Small to medium-sized businesses often offer graduates varied involvement but are not always as visible as the big brands when it comes to looking for jobs. Larger businesses can boast of bigger salaries and prestigious graduate schemes, but often have longer working hours and less flexibility. There’s always the option of self-employment as well if you fancy yourself as being an entrepreneur.

5. Make a plan

Set yourself short and long-term goals so that you can start making steps to kick-start your career. Updating your CV and planning how you will conduct your job search is a good first step.

Remember, once you’ve given it some thought and have done your research, whatever decision you make will be the best one you can make at this point in time. So go for it!

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