Let’s start with a familiar scenario
How did you decide what subject to study at University? Do any of these sound familiar?
- We didn’t have any careers advice at school I picked the A-level I liked most and did a degree in it.
- My boy/girl friend was going to X university so I picked a subject I could get onto there.
- The staff at the University open day said I could do this subject with my A-levels so I did.
- Nobody talked to me about going to university it just kind of happened.
- My parents said I should do this degree.
This massive decision may have been taken with little or no information or support and perhaps even without your input. And you went ahead and did it!
So what’s stopping you from making decisions about your future?
We make decisions based on impulses, information, convenience and a whole load of other not very scientific factors. Could you really have known exactly what coming to university was going to be like before you came? Somehow you made the best of it by taking decisions as they came along and dealing with the consequences, it makes you resourceful and resilient.
There are numerous ways to make this decision, some better than others.
- Research all the options, think about your interests and skills, talk to employers, attend events and consider the pros and cons.
- Try out part-time jobs, internships or voluntary work and make a reasoned decision. (It takes time though)
- Seek advice – ask friends, family and if you want an unbiased opinion ask the Careers Service.
- Do a postgrad course to increase your knowledge or skills in a particular field (not we hope to avoid the inevitable for another year).
- Avoid it for as long as humanly possible, dither for a bit longer, avoid mentioning your dilemma to anyone and quietly get a job at the nearest bar or shop to tide you over!
Option 5 not recommended, but we know it happens.
Take a risk, it doesn’t have to be for ever!
If an opportunity comes up don’t waste too much time agonising if it is the right thing to do. Do some research, ask around, but you’ll never know unless you try. You might love it or hate it, but you will have learned something from the experience to help you plan your next move.
Most people try different jobs before they settle down or may choose never to settle at all.
Be adventurous try something out?
Graduate scheme – 1-3 years. But you don’t have to stick it out if it’s not for you.
MGIP – Opportunities for new graduates in the local area. 4-12 months. A great way to try out something new.
Summer internship – Even less commitment of time.
Volunteer – Try something out no strings attached.
From Careers Everything from a quick chat to a booked appointment to help you chew over the options.
From a mentor Applications open to get a mentor in industry in Autumn & Spring, they can help you figure out what it’s really like to do a particular job and if its right for you.
If you know someone who is stuck, just remind them how far they have come and give them a gentle nudge in our direction.