“Forget everything you once studied at the university.” A huge number of university graduates hear this phrase from their first employers. Therefore, it is necessary to decide in advance with your career plans, so that later you would never have to face the fact that the huge amount of knowledge gained in the university proves to be useless.
You can and need start planning after the first year of studies, when you have already caught the rhythm of student life, have joined the new team and can objectively assess the situation.
You need to understand what you would like to achieve in life, what you are capable of and what you are really good at. For the majority of students, the answer to this question is not so simple and obvious. Dreams and career aspirations of people can change several times throughout life. In addition, the diploma degree does not oblige you to work in strictly defined areas (according to statistics, only 27% of people with completed higher education work in their degree field), and that is good. For example, if you study English, you cannot only teach others, but also become a press attaché or work as a manager in a transnational corporation. If you are a future sociologist, your skills in information search and analysis can help you succeed, for example, in the journalistic field.
It is important to remember that the successful completion of the university cannot guarantee you instant receipt of prestigious work and meteoric rise up the career ladder. Remember that your professional successes depend not only on the level of competence, organizational and leadership qualities, but also on the ability to find a common language with people and work in a team.
You need to develop an activity plan that will help you move one-step closer to your chosen profession. This is not only about academic achievements, but also about additional tasks that will affect your professional development. Therefore, you can:
- participate in student projects, events and competitions related to the chosen degree field;
- follow the announcements on internships and practice related to your major subject; after graduating from the university, a candidate with real practical skills and several jobs in the resume will be by head and shoulders above his/her “green behind the ears” colleagues;
- find an extra employment for the summer, so that the skills gained from such work, in the long term, could help achieve the ultimate career goal;
- become a tutor; this will preserve the knowledge of the general academic programme and develop the skills of mentoring;
- take part in socially significant projects of your region as a volunteer; in addition to obtaining useful skills, you will prove yourself as an enterprising person with an active life position, which can be important for a potential employer.
Document and save on your PC the results of all your activities: participation in conferences, competitions, lectures, training in language courses and attendance of elective courses. Do not forget to write down what skills you have acquired. By using such a “career folder”, it will be easy to compile a full resume, which greatly simplifies the search for work after graduating from the university.
Here are some more tips that will help you “melt the heart” of any employer after graduation:
- Remember that you will have an advantage over all candidates in the company, in which you passed practice or worked as an intern. Remind yourself about sending a CV to such a company.
- Act first—send a CV to the companies you would like to work in, regardless of the availability of vacancies.
- Start a career with any position in the company, in which you really would like to work. Thus, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the team, get the most valuable experience and build connections. If you show yourself as a responsible and enterprising employee, you will soon deserve your dream work.
- Do not be afraid to take on complex tasks—skills and knowledge are a gain, but they cannot be obtained by performing similar simple tasks. Participation in complex projects will allow you to develop as a person and a professional, bring pleasure and increase self-esteem.
- Use your social connections—when you have a friend of your acquaintance who works for the company you are interested in, do not hesitate to ask him about vacancies. In addition, employees and employers look for and find each other in social networks—publics with vacancies, human resources specialists and reposts made by friends can help you find an excellent job.
Remember that your personal qualities and dedication are the key to your successful career and professional fulfilment. Show curiosity, work on yourself and expand your horizons in order to get a dream job in the future!
Author: Anastasia Pimenova