So you’ve been caught up with your latest assignment and revising for your next exam that you’ve just realised that you’re graduating in a matter of months. Not even months, weeks even! So what next? If you have no clue on what options you can even consider you’re in the right place! We have done all the research for you and laid out what you can do in whatever position you’re in.
- Trainee roles
A traineeship or a trainee position is a great opportunity for candidates who have absolutely no experience in the field that they’re applying in. As demonstrated in the name, the employer is of course looking for a candidate where they can train the employee on the job. Usually you’ll find trainee roles at smaller companies, so this is ideal for anyone who has little experience looking to get their foot in the door. Trainee positions are also great jobs if you know exactly what you want to do and want to find a way to progress further up the ladder within a specific company. Typically trainees are hired because of that reason, unlike other graduate roles who are only offered short term contracts.
- Graduate Scheme
The holy grail for graduates… It’s assumed that when you’ve graduated you are destined to go straight into a graduate scheme and then your future waits. Although this is the case for some lucky students, it can be incredibly difficult to bag a graduate scheme. But there’s no harm in trying and graduate schemes are perfect for candidates who have had some sort of experience in their field. This is due to the mass amount of applications employers get for graduate schemes and as they’re usually large national companies who run the graduate schemes, make sure you stand out for all the right reasons.
How does working from home and choosing your own work sound? Has freelance ever been an option? If there aren’t positions physically there for you then why not go and pitch yourself to get work? If you’ve already got some form of contacts in the field you’re in, then you’re already half way there! If not don’t panic! Whether you’re a budding journalist or a promising web designer why not begin by making websites or writing for your own blog to demonstrate how good your work is. If you are able to show a portfolio of your work and really pitch yourself to employers, once you’ve freelanced for one company the rest will follow.
- Paid Internships
You’ll find that like the graduate schemes, larger companies offer yearly internships for candidates to learn and get a taster for the company they’re at. But don’t be fooled it can still be difficult to bag an internship, as you still need some sort of experience. This usually doesn’t need to be loads of placements but it does mean that you need to demonstrate that you’ve pursued similar positions. Unlike graduate schemes where there’s a high chance that you will be hired as a permanent member of the staff after the scheme, internships can be at times quite the opposite. At an internship you will be likely to be paid a lot less, meaning that the company doesn’t usually have a bigger enough budget to open a new position for you. But it’s not all that bad, once you’ve completed an internship the chances that you will be hired somewhere else, now you’ve gained that experience is a lot higher than before.
Graduates have a tendency to forget that there are always entry-level roles. Positions that anyone with no massively relevant experience can typically apply for and if you’ve got a degree, bonus! Similar to trainee roles but these kinds of jobs might actually be disguised under as an assistant or occasionally junior position, so don’t be fooled only because the title of the role isn’t ‘Graduate Scheme 2016 Summer Applicants.’ The great thing about entry-level positions is that they are still paid experience and unlike internships, they are reasonable good pay and entry-level jobs are definitely enough to live by and still fund your nights out.
- Set up your own business
As scary as it sounds, have you ever thought of just setting up your own business? Before you start thinking of how you would pitch yourself to investors or your end goal, think small than go big. Don’t get me wrong it’s always wise to think of the bigger picture but don’t go setting off presuming you will graduate University and then be the next Alan Sugar within 2 years. If there’s something in particular you want to pursue or have got an idea of something missing in your local area then start there and grow. You never know what might come out of it and as soon as you have your first customer, people will just start following. Remember the hardest part is thinking of a money making idea, after that all you need is determination and to never give up.
- Working Gap year
What’s a working gap year I hear you say? So you have none if any, very little experience in the career you want to pursue. This is the best time you can ever gain this. With no commitments or houses to pay you are in the best position to call, email and get work placements. This way you can build up experience and get that dream job that does require experience; but even better who says one of your placements won’t take you on? By getting that initial foot in the door you can prove and demonstrate why they should employ you. Who knows there could be a position that just so happens needs to be filled or you can network and keep contacts that could point you in the right direction in the future.
- Gap year/TEFL
Lastly, why not relax and throw in the towel for a year and go and travel around the world. There’s no time like the presence and a gap year can be a great time to go and explore something you have never had the time to ever do before. Bearing in mind this will be the first time you haven’t been in education for your whole life, finally you don’t have someone telling you what to do. You deserve it right? If you’re however money conscious but still want to explore a new country why not go on the TEFL course? With countries from China, Thailand to even Spain in a constant need for English speaking candidates to teach English, the best part about it is you don’t even need to know any other languages! What a perfect opportunity.
Hopefully this guide has helped you on your way to choosing your next career path. In whatever position you’re in, just remember that there are always options. If you need any more help check out some of our other blog guides, we even have an area specifically dedicated for graduate advice…