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Monday, 21 April 2014

Options After University - What Now?

It has reached that time of the year where all final year students, like myself, are either super prepared and organised and have their whole life planned out, or, like myself, don't.

If you're not sure what you want to do next year - don't panic! There are lots of different routes you could take and this is what makes it so difficult to decide, but hopefully this little blog post will help you figure it all out. Here we go...

1. Jump on the Career ladder with a job/ internship

If you know what sort of career you would like and you're keen to start work then getting a job or internship could be the right option for you. Something to think about is what exactly it is you want to do. While the job market is very tough it's important to remember that your dream job is out there and even if you don't get it straight away it's definitely worth a shot!

Take a look at different routes into your career options, whether that be internships, graduate schemes, or start off jobs in the right business. Don't give up on the idea of what you want. You're too young to waste time doing something you don't enjoy!

It's tough out there so here's a few tips...

- DO apply for lots of jobs, the more you apply for the more chance you'll bag one.

- DON'T be disheartened if you don't get the job. There's so many people all wanting the same thing. This time you weren't exactly what the company was looking for but you will have learnt something from the application experience and hey, maybe they weren't right for you either!

- DO stand out. It's competitive out there so make sure your CV stands out, whether that's because of how brilliant you are or (in creative industries) because you've done something a bit different - make them remember you. Recently I sent off my CV attached to a balloon with my face on it... little bit creepy BUT slightly harder to ignore than an email! That day I got a nice tweet and email from the company, more than would have happened if I had just emailed my CV. I'm telling you face balloons are the way forward.

- DO be super prepared for any interviews/ assessment centres. Give yourself the best chance you can, you've got this far don't blow it because you can't be bothered to put the time in.

- DON'T give up. You will get something in the end!

2. Placements/ work experience

Wanting to get a job but not entirely sure what you want to do? Instead of jumping into the wrong career why not try and gain some valuable experience by doing a short term placement? While some places advertise these it is worth sending off your CV to companies you quite fancy the look of, you never know they might offer you something. Granted these will most likely not last the whole year but it is a good place to start if you're unsure of what to do. Then, once you've had the experience you can take your planning from there!

3. Further study

You don't have to finish studying just yet! If you're not quite ready to give up the student lifestyle or you're a big lover of exams then this is a great option for you. Whether it be a masters, a conversion course or any other form of further education, there's plenty more out there for you to learn so why not give it another year.

Having another qualification could give you an advantage in the job market later on and it's a great excuse to go and spend a year discovering a new city and getting to know a whole bunch of new people (if you decide to study away from where you graduated).
Check out this link to find the right course for you. This is also really useful if post-grad study is something you are interested in.

4. Travel

Now is the time. Of course you can always make the time later on if you really want to travel, but there is no better time than when you've just finished uni. Take advantage of the fact that you probably have less commitments at home than you will have in five/ten years time. Once you head into the working world you'll be more limited with the amount of time you take off, and then there's marriage, a mortgage, kids and all that. So while you're young, fit, healthy and unattached go and see the world!

There are so many options when it comes to travelling, so many places to see and so many different ways to do this. Will you travel alone, with an organised group or with friends? How long will you travel for, what will you do when you're there and where do you want to go? You can check out Meli's post on the top 3 student travel adventures for some ideas.

There are also some great websites to help you out and make sure that you plan the right trip for YOU. With so many options out there it's important to think about what it is you want to get out of the trip. So have a think and get in touch with the experts on one of these sites to plan your perfect travel adventure.

Gap 360
STA Travel

Hope this helped! Have you decided what you're doing next year? Or did you do something different after Uni? Let us know in the comments below!

p.s if you like the blog we would love it if you nominated us for the #cosmoblogawards best newcomer here!


  1. I love your balloon idea Becca it is sooooo creative, I think you are right Photo Balloons are the way forward !! I am sure you will be snapped up soon onto the Job market, so where did you get the idea? Or are you just a marketing genius !!! Great Post !! :-) xx

  2. Love the CV idea, so creative, wouldn't work so well in some companies, but I guess for more creative careers its a brilliant idea. Im still in my second year so not thinking about after uni just yet! Although Im hoping to do an internship this summer if I can get one. :)

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

  3. Thanks Emma, yes definitely more for the creative industries! An internship sounds like a great idea, good luck!x