So exams are finishing and its time to start thinking about what is next!

So what is next for you, do you feel under pressure to make that decision “what will I do with the rest of my life?” Don’t fret and don’t worry in this day and age the first job you do after university at graduate level does not dictate what you will do for the rest of your life.JL_picture_70

Many people change careers at different points in their lives. The one thing I would say is when you do get your first job pay attention to what you like and what you don’t like, this will make the next career move simpler.Knowing what works for you and what doesn’t is important as these are the areas you can look at in the next role. Does the next job have more of what you like than what you don’t like.

We talk about self awareness in the careers service and this can be daunting for some student and others may think it is a waste of their time. For some this may in fact be true but how are you going to know that a particular company or job is right for you if you don’t know who you are, what skills you have, what values you have, and most importantly what motivates you. These things are important especially if you want to change career in the future, for instance if you are changing from accounting to marketing you need to understand what transferable skills do I have. What have I done during my time as an accountant that would be useful in marketing. If I were interviewing you for a marketing role this is one of the questions I would ask you.

So how do you go about understanding you values, motivations and skills? There are a number of things you can do including seeing a career consultant. If this is not for you then the University of Manchester Careers Service website has a number of online tools you can use to help you identify what motivates you and what you skills may be. You can find more advice , tips and tools on http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/whichcareer/idontknow/

What else can I do? Well you can join your graduate networks on LinkedIn and connect with other alumni of the university as well as current students to build your connections for your career. Remember if someone can’t help you now because they are still studying that doesn’t mean in 5 years they can’t open doors for you. So join our online LinkedIn networks:

The African Manchester iStock_000013296501Small Network of peopleGraduate Network

The Pakistan Manchester Graduate Network

India Manchester Graduate Network

The China Manchester Graduate Network

The International Graduate Network ( for those of you who do not want to join the other region specific groups.

But if this piece of advice is not enough to put you at ease come and talk to us at the The University of Manchester Careers Service and we can help you look at your options. We are located on the 1st floor of University Place in the Atrium or you can ring to make an appointment +44 (0)161 275 2828 by phone or Skype. No matter where you are in the world whether you are due to graduated or you graduated within the last 2 years we can still help you.Remember it is never too late to have a chat with us and we are here all Summer.

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