Stepping from University into the real world is daunting. We’ve all heard the headlines, ‘the job market is extremely tough’ and ‘qualifications are no longer enough for employers’. Unfortunately, University life ends abruptly, thrusting graduates into the world often with little guidance as to what’s next.

If you’ve recently graduated and are unsure what to do next, don’t worry, there are plenty of options! Here at Style of the City, we’ve brainstormed a few key questions and ideas to help you take control and decide on your next move.

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Which industry or field of work do you want to pursue?

A surprising number of graduates don’t have concrete career plans, so you are not alone. Here are our suggestions if you find yourself in this position:

o   Reach out to local companies seeking work experience. First-hand insight into an industry or particular role will allow you to judge if you’d be interested in pursuing it further or if it’s unsuited to you.

o   Learn more about what different roles entail: reading books, news articles or even business websites may provide enough information to rule out options or perhaps spark an interest.

Even if you think you know what you want to pursue, following these suggestions before diving into permanent job applications may be worthwhile: allowing you to make informed decisions, boost your CV with wider experience and potentially gain an addition reference. All things which may help increase your chances of job interview success.

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Do you want to go straight into work?

Although the mainstream assumption is that upon graduating you will go straight into full-time work, gap-years are still very popular: providing an opportunity to de-stress after your degree, as well as gain additional qualifications. Have you considered:

o   Working whilst travelling abroad; earning whilst experiencing cultures across the world. Remember, employers are impressed by well-rounded personalities as well as academic qualifications.

o   Part-time work whilst gaining additional qualifications? Releasing time to earn your driving license, complete First Aid training or other relevant certificates to support your CV and help prepare for future job applications.

o   Post-graduate study? It doesn’t have to end! Depending on your future plans, you may benefit from completing a Masters, PhDs or PGCE – although, these tend to require big financial investments.

Whatever you do, remember: it’s perfectly normal to be unsure what to do after graduation; take your time, consider your options, collect valuable experiences. Then make your next move!

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