For the Graduating Girls Wondering What’s Next

Beginnings…

Endings…

Wait, you have a love-hate relationship with them too? Welcome to the club! We have cake, and tea.

I know I tend to reminisce around memories of ‘back when’ quite a bit, but let me just have this one for a moment. It’s grad season, after all.

Graduating from university (it’s been two years ago this month, for me!) can a surreal yet scary time of my life, when things were up in the air and you occasionally find yourself feeling a bit down on your luck, frustrated because you haven’t figured things out yet. I know there were many days where I sure did.

Here are four steps worth considering while you make the choice of which direction to take for post-university life.

Research (ugh, more, I know)

Between lectures, lunch breaks sharing spare for cup noodles with your best friend, the class presentations and volunteer trips, you learn so many things about yourself between the massive and the mundane. What you wanted for yourself and your future career going in might be lightyears different from what you’ve got your sights set on when you’re leaving. That is perfectly fine by the way, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are, after all, allowed to grow as a person.

Want to explore a new career path? Not 100% sure about the idea but can’t get it off your mind? Utilise the services available from your university, namely mentoring and career fairs. Hearing from someone who’s been down the road you’re thinking about walking can be just the gentle nudge you need. Don’t be bashful about asking lots and lots of question at career fairs either. Not able to make it to career fairs at your university? Your city should have an abundance of fairs open to the general public. When I lived in Bristol, were spoilt for choice with career fairs. You won’t regret going, making connections and getting insider ‘know how’ about an industry or career you’re considering.

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Create Your Perfect CV

I was once the girl who thought she had the CV thing all figured out. I loved to write, after all. How hard could it be? One quick careers office visit later, my uni suggested that I have the experts there give it a review. Before then, guess who had no clue that service was even available, and for free.99??

Having someone with the right skillset do an assessment of your CV is a seemingly ‘meh’ thing to do, but surprisingly so worth it. There are things a quick Google search can help you with, then there are things that just might need a more hands-on, in person approach. It may surprise you, the little things that you might have missed when writing your CV, that are actually big things to potential employers in the industry you’re aiming for.

Your university’s careers office, with the CV assessment service, will help in areas such as applying the relevant bits of experience and extra-curricular activities to your CV, and guiding you as to what elements you may be better off leaving out completely. They also help you with shortening your CV to what’s absolutely necessary. It can be tempting to bare it all when you want that company to know, in no uncertain terms, how awesome you are, but for most companies, the shorter the better.

Sorting out your finances (even baby steps are a big deal)

It might take some blood, sweat and what feels like never-ending LinkedIn searches for your dream job to appear on your radar. Ask anyone who landed their ideal position after uni, it can take such a large chunk of your day sending out CVs and applying for jobs. It can be easy to feel even more overwhelmed if you’re also worrying about your student loan (and I mean who isn’t, right?) In times like those, it’s worth looking up some of the best student loan refinance rates available to you.

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Never leave

what to do after university-4

I know, I know, “ what in the world??”
We’re not talking taking up permanent residence in halls after grad (imagine the rent, yikes lol!). If you’re the type of student who is looking to make a contribution to the field, then pursuing a Masters and PhDmight be for you.  You’ll also be able to apply for better-paid positions once you’ve finished higher level degrees like these. A Ph.D. requires a lot of enthusiasm around your chosen field so be sure you love the subject before embarking on this path.

Endings don’t have to seem like the end of the world, do they? Not when you’ve got some idea, some inspiration for the way forward, the new chapter, the new page, and insert every other ‘new beginning’ cliche here. I hope at least one of these tips points you in the direction of being a bit clearer on the big ‘what’s next?’ question.

Till next time!

 

Written by

Marketer, writer & lover of long chats over warm chai lattes.

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