Tackling Careers Fears this Halloween

Written by Emma Naylor, Student Engagement and Enterprise Assistant at the Careers Service

With Halloween approaching, we’re exploring some common careers fears you may be experiencing. Whether you’re a first year, final year or a graduate, there is no need to get spooked by your future. We are here to support you whatever stage you are at!

Check out the five common careers fear and how to tackle them:

  1. Fear of the unknown

It’s perfectly normal to not know what you want to do in your career and to be a little scared of your future – not many people have a clear pathway set for when they finish University. We have a dedicated page to help kick-start your thinking. It’s important to evaluate what you enjoy, what you are good at, what you value and what is important to you. Check out the Prospects website to get advice on what you can do with your degree and explore potential routes you can take after University.

Need further help? You can book a careers guidance appointment with a Careers Consultant to talk about your next steps.

  1. Fear of comparison

Why do they have a graduate job and I don’t? They will pick someone else not me! Does that sound familiar? The act of recognising what someone else has and you don’t is common, especially when it comes to careers but it is probably holding you back! Everyone is on a different pathway and that is okay. Use other people’s successes and experiences to spur you into action. Focus on your own efforts and what you can control. Recognise what you have already achieved and think about what you want to do.

Have your friends found jobs or further study and you haven’t? Why not take the opportunity to ask for their advice or tips about what they have done. Visit our website for further guidance on steps you can take to overcome comparison.

  1. Fear of not having the right skills

Scared you are unqualified for the job you are interviewing for or the new job you’ve just got? You are probably experiencing imposter syndrome. Fear not – the hiring manager will have picked you because they believe in you and your abilities.

It is important to think of all the skills you have learnt throughout your time at University and how they can be applied into a new role. On our transferable skills webpage you can learn about how to understand the skills you have gained through your course, work experience and extra—curricular activities and how to apply them to an application form, interview or assessment centre.

In order to make sure you have a range of skills, get involved with as much as you can and take advantage of any opportunities. On CareerConnect there is a range of resources and tasks including our Pathways to help you become more confident in a range of practical skills. You will also find opportunities such as part-time work to help develop to help you gain skills.

  1. Fear of failure and rejection

Are you worried about your application being rejected or think there is no point applying for a role? Unlike studying where you need to get a good grade to pass every module, the job market world is very different.

If you have had an application rejected, there are things you can learn from those setbacks and improve. When possible ask for feedback, it is a valuable learning opportunity. Just be aware that not all employers have the capacity to provide feedback.

Whether you are completing an application, doing a test or got an upcoming interview, with practice you can gain more confidence and develop. Here at the Careers Service we have CareerSet, an online CV checker and Shortlist.Me, an interview preparation platform. Make sure you use them to develop your confidence.

Head to our website to discover more about overcoming application rejection.  

  1. Fear of not having the right network

Worried about not knowing the right people? Fear not, we can help you develop your networking skills. We run a range of fairs, workshops and skills sessions to help you develop your skills. It’s important to remember you need to be proactive and get involved in activities as it’s the best way to meet people.  

Here at The University of Manchester, we are proud of our wonderfully supportive alumni community with over 500,000 graduates worldwide. Make sure you take advantage of the network you are currently in! Connect with Alumni on LinkedIn and attend our Meet the Professionals events.

Do you have another fear that we haven’t covered? Visit our career concerns page to discover other common fears and find practical tips and advice to overcome them. Got a question? Send us a message on live chat or contact us on the Queries button via CareerConnect.

Applications and interviews Careers advice

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