Some good starting points for contemplating your career options:
From your degree, work or life in general
Think about the modules or jobs you enjoyed, your particular interests and achievements.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Likes & Dislikes
Personal attributes and skills e.g. numeracy, public speaking, leadership.
Knowledge and expertise e.g. IT, foreign language, design.
How do you like to work? Do you prefer teamwork or individual tasks? Do you thrive under pressure or hate working to deadlines?
What drives you – e.g. money, helping others, being creative, solving problems?
Culture & Environment
Remember environments where you have worked well and enjoyed the experience, e.g. busy and fast-moving/calm and quiet, creative/technical, business/services/retail/charities etc.
Would you prefer to be a big fish in a small pond, or do you want the job security and defined career path that a
large company could offer?
Focus on industries where you have a specific interest in the products/services, and which suit your experience and skills. Look for organisations/brands that inspire you, or where you can relate to a company’s culture, and feel you would fit in.
Jobs You Might Like
Consider jobs you think you might enjoy, even if they’re not relevant to your degree.
Apart from some obvious exceptions like medicine, many job applications do not require a specific degree.
Job Sectors – Prospects
Find out about typical jobs in various industry sectors & what qualifications are needed
Talk to people about the range of jobs that are available and their personal experiences. Get a broad perspective; ask people who are at different stages of their career.
325: How To Get The Right Job – HBR IdeaCast
(approx. 20 mins) Podcast from the Harvard Business Review (online, App or iTunes)
Money isn’t everything, but it is obviously an important factor.
Work out what monthly take-home pay you need to survive on.
There will be quite a range of starting salaries, depending on what area you go into, and it’s a good idea to have some knowledge of how much to expect in your chosen field.
Look at comparative starting salaries, but also earnings potential.
Do consider the whole compensation package (including other benefits, perks, bonuses etc.)
Be aware of geographic variations.
Internships and Work Experience
A great way of finding out what you do or don’t want to do and it is only a short commitment.
An internship might even turn into a permanent job, but at the very least it should give you a clearer idea of career direction, improve your employability, build your network and earn you a bit of cash – the majority of internships must now be paid at least the minimum wage, and also, many leading employers now offer paid work experience to students and graduates.
See Internships & Work Experience
These can help match people with roles and companies. They can be a useful tool in guiding career choice too. See Personality Tests
Are you ready for a career or is further education an option for you? See Further Education
Would you prefer to work for yourself and be in charge of your own destiny – entrepreneur freelancer, contractor, franchisee… See Self-Employment
Do Something Different
Find a fulfilling alternative to corporate life. See Do Something Different
Find out more about career direction:
Grad Bites: Not a Clue What to Do? Help from a Life Coach
Watch this bite-size video from an early careers life coach, who helps graduates and young adults work out what they really want & how to get there
What can I do with my degree? – Prospects
Explore career options & see where your degree could take you