Many of you are graduating this month – congratulations! Whether you choose to attend the grand ceremony or not, completing a small degree is no small feat. However, unless you’re one of the lucky few with a job immediately lined up, you might also feel some anxiety about exactly what you should be doing with yourself now university life is over…
Most of you who’ve clicked this article with interest are set to graduate. Like me, you’ve done three, four or even more years at the University of Warwick and are a little apprehensive about going into the wider world.
Fear not, however – do not panic if you haven’t started preparation for life after Warwick. Only a small percentage of people – fewer than one may anecdotally think – will have a job lined up after the summer. The majority will be frantically searching, sourcing, interviewing and applying for roles throughout the summer. While I am in no privileged position to disseminate any advice, having not received a graduate or entry level role myself, here are a few tips and tricks I have picked up to put you on your way.
1. Decide which path you want to go down
Before anything, one must decide which one of many paths to go down. Firstly, do you want to continue your education? Some Masters’ courses are still open, while other postgraduate qualifications (often vocational) can still be started this September.
If not, you’ll have to decide what kind of career you want to go to. In today’s labour market, your first job is by no means your last – you may be there for less than a year. However, at this stage, gaining experience in the field matters more than pay, so take the role that gets a foot in the door and that you are passionate about, rather than more money in the pocket.
2. Find the right way to apply
The first step here is to treat job searching like a normal workday. Be up the same time you would to study, take breaks, and keep focus. Exams may be over, but this kind of preparation is key.
Aside from this, balancing the quantity and quality of your applications is a skill in and of itself. While you don’t want to be sending off half-hearted applications that will be instantly binned by employers, you can’t be spending days on each one. For tips on standing out in your applications, Thomas Frank, a resource I have consulted for a long time, has some fantastic tips.
3. Use University resources
Though your time at Warwick may be up, you are still entitled to use the University’s services. One of these – and perhaps, the most relevant – is the Careers Service. Whether it be discussing career paths, sourcing relevant resources or anything else, the service has proved very useful over the past few months for myself.
4. Don’t Panic
I must reiterate this once again. Do not feel down if you don’t have a job or course lined up. You’ve just graduated from a top University – employers would be lucky to have you!
If it is getting to you, make sure to take some time off. Though you may not have access to counselling or the like any more, there are plenty of online resources. You may browse the counselling website itself for resources, or look at other relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
Life after graduation may seem daunting. Gone are the days of skipping lectures, constant socialising and 2am oven pizza (well, maybe that will remain). Seeking roles in the outside world, away from the Warwick Bubble, may seem difficult, but these tips will go some way to streamlining that process.