Time flies. Before you know it, four years have passed, and you just graduated from university. Transitioning from student living to post-graduatin in the UK can be one of the most overwhelming and stressful experiences of your life. You are thrown into the real world, and you have to make decisions that impact your career. If you don’t know what to do after university, here is a list of some next steps you can take.
1. Job Hunt
It may be difficult to decide what you want to do with your life after graduation. Even though you are unsure about it, apply for jobs. It takes a while to hear back from employers, so you may as well apply to jobs while you think about what you want to do. Apply to a variety of entry-level jobs with little-to-no experience. If you did not enjoy what you studied in university, apply to entry-level jobs outside of your field. Start at the bottom and work your way up. If you are dreading this process, aim for a goal. Try to apply for 10 jobs a day for a month and then take a week-long break.
If you receive an offer from a company but later decide that you do not want to work yet, politely decline the offer. Let the company know that you appreciate the consideration and time they took to interview you and that you decided to pursue another opportunity in the meantime. When you come back, you can apply for the job again or reach out to the person who hired you and ask if the position is still available. It is always best to keep things on good terms with employers.
To make things easier for you, update your resume and create accounts on hiring platforms:
Recruiters and hiring managers look at hundreds of resumes a day. Try dazzling yours up to be unique. Include a professional photo of yourself or attach a cover letter. Make yourself stand out.
University job fairs are also a great way to network with employers and ask questions about the positions they are offering. Job fairs are usually open to new graduates, so check with your school to see if they have availability. Employers like to see when students and graduates make an effort to network, so take advantage of this.
Additionally, you can look for a graduate career. This is a great way for landing jobs after university. There are platforms like GRB that help you find a graduate program that fits your field of study. The advisors are there to help you career-match and give you support and advice on how to land these jobs.
A thing to remember is that finding the right career is not about finding the highest-paying job or getting a job at a big five company. It is about finding what is right at that time for you, whether it be a freelance, full-time, contract, or part-time job.
Often many new graduates find it difficult to land a job immediately after university. However, try to remain positive and motivated although you may be struggling to find a job after university. Also, keep your options open and know that it is okay to branch off course to something different and new. In the interim, many graduates often take a stab at online business opportunities to keep them afloat while they keep searching for a full-time position.
Don’t reject jobs that are different from what you studied. The job market is tough, and you never know what you could learn from a different career. Trying out a job can help enlighten you on what you want to do in the future.
2. Take A Gap Year
You will have the rest of your life to work. If you have the funds and opportunity, take a gap year and travel on a budget during your life after university. It does not have to be for the full year. It can be for a month or even a couple of weeks. See parts of the world and all it has to offer. It may enlighten you and help you decide on the path you want to take for your career. Budget your trip before you go and plan out different cities and countries you want to visit. Try visiting the United States and go on a budget road trip. If that is not your cup of tea, then explore Europe or Asia. There are plenty of budget guides online that can help you plan and budget your trip. You can also get some inspiration from travel vlogs on YouTube.
If you happen to be short on the amount you need to take a gap year abroad, consider applying for a high acceptance payday loan. It is always best to do your research when it comes to making financial decisions. Loans are borrowed money, so you will be expected to pay it back. That is where financial literacy becomes crucial.
Additionally, you can also check out Go Overseas, a company that focuses on programs during your gap year. These programs range in a variety of subjects and fields while also taking you on an adventure to see the world.
Keep in mind that this may be one of the only chances where it is socially acceptable to take a gap year. Most graduates do not have to worry about paying off their mortgage, taking care of kids, or limited paid time off days from work. If you have the opportunity to, take advantage of it and experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. You might even get to brush up on a second language or master a culinary recipe you love.
3. Volunteer or Apply for Internships
Some fields of study require internships as a requirement to graduate. Having an internship on your resume can make it easier to find jobs after university. For example, if you are in a nursing program, most universities require clinical hours. Even if your program does not have any internship requirements, apply to them. These can be a great experience and a way to get your foot in the door. It also looks great on resumes if you happen to be struggling to find a job after university.
Similarly, volunteering shows that you have dedicated your time to something you love. If you love animals, try volunteering at a local animal shelter. If you are passionate about making a difference in someone’s life, volunteer at a soup kitchen or assisted living retirement village. Not only are you doing something for the greater good, but you are also helping your community.
4. Start a Company or Join a Start-Up
Some individuals strive when they are their own boss. If you are an entrepreneur and have the talent to lead a team, start your own business. This can be extremely difficult at first as you will be spending a lot of your time and money on your company. If your company hits off, the rewards can be fantastic. However, if your company fails, all the losses fall on your shoulders. This is a risk you will have to take when you start your own business. Consider applying for a small business loan if you are short on funds to start your own company.
If you still don’t know what to do after university, you can join a start-up company. These companies start small, so you will have to wear many hats while working, and you will work directly with almost everyone at the start-up. Likewise to starting your own business, joining a start-up comes with risks. The business may fail, which means you will lose your job. If the business booms, you will thrive with it.
5. Go Back to School or Study Abroad
Some fields of study require postgraduate studies to enter the field of work. Going back to school is necessary for doctors, nurse practitioners, lawyers, and dieticians.
If you find that your passion is in learning new things and studying, go back to school. You could do a graduate program or even a PhD. Knowledge is power, and you can never have enough of it.
Going back to school and getting a higher education can also be a big boost in the job market. While you are in school, try to participate in volunteer work or internships so when you apply to jobs in the future, they see that you have experience and education. This helps you stand out in comparison to other candidates and applicants.
You can also travel and study abroad. Apply for scholarships to a study abroad program that you are interested in. Only a select few win, and you could be one of them. Different countries focus on different subjects. For example, if you are in culinary arts, there are plenty of study abroad programs in Italy and France to study their food and culture. This could be a great opportunity for you to see the world and learn about different cultures.
Regardless of what you do, all these experiences will shape you into the person you will be. Try to do something that will mold you and improve your skills and mind. There is no shame in asking for help. Seek out your advisors and mentors at your university for help if you don’t know what to do after university. Keep calm and carry on. You will find a path.