16 September 2020 | Grads Corner | Guest Author
If you’re like a lot of soon-to-be graduates, your degree in an academic subject doesn’t quite match your career ambitions. This can be amplified if you’re hoping to move abroad, as foreign countries such as France can favour vocational learning. But no need to panic, this is a challenge that many of us face and it can be overcome with a little extra planning and preparation.
Find what’s out there
The job market has vast possibilities, which can be overwhelming when you begin your search. It can help to have informal chats with friends or family about the sorts of jobs they do and what careers might align well to your degree subject. For example, creative writing and content marketing are complementary areas.
Careers advisors at your school or university have the experience and tools to help you narrow down your search and at this point, they can usually provide resources for you to find out more about areas of interest. Getting in contact with them can uncover jobs that your informal contacts might not have heard of.
University requires a lot of time and brain energy, so make sure you prioritise your studies. That said if you do find yourself with spare time in the holidays, work experience is a great way to develop professional skills. Internships or work placements are an obvious choice, as you can try out a role in the short term before committing. Plus, employers often favour candidates that have knowledge of their sector and a work placement is a good indication on your CV.
Many part-time jobs can also get your skills or contacts to land a graduate job. It might seem like bartending or other popular work during university is too different from an office environment, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Counting stock, working under pressure and dealing with challenging clients are just a small set of examples that translate into valuable experience across industries.
If you have your heart set on a niche job that needs a little more expertise, you can find out which qualifications are needed by checking job profiles online. Once you’ve spotted a skill gap such as knowledge of coding or tools, have a look online for certifications to help you fill out your CV. Before spending money on expensive courses, you should look around for free alternatives as these are often available.
Article by guest author: Rosie Camidge
Rosie graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in French and Psychology. She is currently working on the Digital Graduate Programme at BGL Group (home to Compare the Market).
You can contact Rosie on LinkedIn.