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Finding work after university

Published Tuesday, 07 April, 2015 by Tiffany Rawling

With a whole load of students preparing to finish their final year over the next few months something which will be on their minds is what they are going to do afterwards. There are so many options available so understandably this can be a very stressful time and one that needs a lot of thinking time.

Firstly, not everyone who finishes their degree will want to go into that specific area like they may have thought. This is completely fine and life is too short to be doing something that you don’t love! There is no reason why you can’t start all over again and choose a different degree. This all depends on whether you think you could do uni all over again. If not you could look into top up degrees. With some courses, once you finish you can do a top up year and specialise in a certain area. For example, if you chose an English degree but aren’t sure what to do with it, you could choose to do a year’s teacher training course meaning at the end of that you would be a qualified teacher. There will be people willing to help you at university, a chat with a careers advisor or your personal tutor could get you on the right path.

You really don’t want to leave it until the last minute to work out what you want to do next. Now would be the perfect time to start looking for work and figuring out where you are going to live. A lot of students choose to move back in with their parents at the end of uni so they can save some money and look for work. This isn’t an option for everybody, if this is the case you could look at getting a flat with your mates. Sites like Right Move are great and they always have loads of options available for big groups. To do this though, you could do with having some sort of work in mind, even if it is temporary. You can then start to think more long term once you are over the first hurdle.

If you want to go straight into a job with your degree you need to try and network with companies. You should have a few companies in mind that you would like to work within and there is no harm in sending an email or chatting to someone on the phone. Introduce yourself, explain that you are finishing uni and go into a bit of detail about your degree. You could then go onto ask if there are any sort of internships or programs that they run for students like you or ask them to hold onto your details for any future jobs. Most companies would be impressed that you are interested in working for them and if you approach it in the right way, you could have got yourself a job!

Something that you may need to prepare for is working for free. Even in your dream job you may need to work your way to the top and that could mean volunteering at the beginning. If you can offer this they are even more likely to take you on, I don’t know many places that would say no to somebody doing the work for free. If you show you are hardworking and really interested in their company, there is no reason why they won’t take you on after a few months.

While in uni you will probably have built up a portfolio of work and you should also have a good CV ready. If you have these and can prove why you would be good for any job you go for, you really have a chance. Making sure you have these things and they are to a good standard is something uni can help you with.

The main thing with finding work after university is ensuring you are prepared. This is something that you need to start early with unless you already have something in place.

Happy job hunting students!

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