“I’ve just finished uni and don’t have a clue what I want to do!” – Sound familiar?

Finishing university can be both an exciting and daunting time, as graduates head out into the big wide world and embark on their careers. A lot of graduates, however, find themselves in a position where they just don’t really know what they want their next step to be.

If this sounds like you, then here are 4 steps that you should take in deciding what’s next after university.

1. What are my options?

You have a number of options available to you after university:

Get a job – if you are ambitious and career-driven, it is definitely worth getting a foot up on the first rung of your career ladder as soon as possible.

After uni - job
Build experience/volunteer

After uni - volunteer
Further study – check out our ‘Does a Master’s Degree Add Value to Your CV?‘ article.

After uni - study
Travel – If you’re considering travelling why not read our article on ‘Why you should take a Gap Year‘? Taking a gap year and travelling the world isn’t as straightforward as it used to be with the current Covid restrictions. However, if you’re keen to see a bit more of the world you can still do so with careful planning and organisation.

After uni - travel

The first step is making a decision about which of these options is right for you.

2. Make a list

The next step is to make a personal list of more specific options that you may be interested in pursuing. Some questions that you may want to ask yourself when thinking about this list are:

  • What do you enjoy?
  • Where do your skills and strengths lie?
  • What’s important to you (a great lifestyle, helping others, making money etc.)?

Creating your list may also take some research and involve talking to others to pin down what really interests you.

If your list is based on jobs/careers that interest you, try and be specific about the roles you are interested in as this will help you with your job search later on.

If you are struggling to decide what careers would be best for you why not take our quiz: What Career Path Does Your Personality Suit?

3. Review your list

Think about what is non-negotiable for you, for example in terms of your career you may want financial security, to work in a team, a variety of tasks, opportunities to travel, etc. You can then consider these in relation to your list and work out what the best options are for you.

4. Make the next step

You should now have a manageable number of options available to you which will make taking action a whole lot easier. With a small list of career choices identified, your next step might be to research relevant companies and search for jobs in your area.

When commencing your job search you should be aware of what to look out for in every opportunity that you apply to. You should also ensure that you explore numerous methods in searching for jobs online as opposed to just going straight for graduate job boards. Don’t rule out universal job boards (e.g. Reed, Indeed, Monster, CV-Library, Total Jobs), recruitment companies and even social media when looking for your perfect opportunity.

While you do face an important decision, you should remember that whatever you decide on now does not have to be what you do for the rest of your life. You are at the starting line of your career path, but there could be plenty of turns along the way!

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