Blog & Insights

Life after Uni… What’s next?

So you’re finally coming to the end of your university degree and it’s time to graduate from student life and enter the big wide world of work. So how does that work exactly?

Leaving the fold can feel quite a daunting prospect. The structure, routine and social life you have crafted around you is about to change forever, and it’s time to actually put some serious thought into the next stage of your life. It’s time to work out what comes next and have a plan of action at the ready.

How can I prepare?

There are a few ways you can start to prepare for the next stage of your life.

  • Organise some related practical work experience – not only will this give you a real life insight into your chosen profession, it will put you a leg ahead when it comes to job applications. It demonstrates commitment, knowledge, proactive behaviour and independent thinking.
  • Identify where your strengths and interests really lie. It may be that your true passions are not necessarily linked to your academic choices, or that you have discovered your skills can be better utilised in other areas. All of this analysis is useful information in planning out the next steps.
  • Consider where you would like to be located and where you could possibly live. Ask yourself the tough questions: Are you ready to move back home if you lived away? Can you afford to live independently? It may be you have to make some short-term decisions (like moving back home) as part of a longer-term plan – and that’s completely OK.
  • Ensure you have access to a good level of support so that you can discuss any issues that are concerning you regarding the future. It may be family or friends that can prop you up when you’re feeling overwhelmed, or an online forum you can tap into. Use the student support available to you onsite at Iglu or Uni to combat any anxiety or worry that may be present.
What should I have ready?

If you are feeling anxious in any way about leaving Uni, there are some practical tasks you can achieve that will help you feel on top of the process and ahead of the game.

  • Prepare your CV well in advance so you are ready to hit the ground running with job applications.
  • Attend an Iglu CV workshop session (held by our teams in each property) to help you refine your CV as well as to pick up top interview tips.
  • Try to spend some time applying for jobs in the last semester. Consider appropriate graduate schemes, internships and work placements.
What if I don’t end up in the job I planned?

Firstly, don’t panic. Landing that amazing dream job at the end of your degree is not exactly the usual outcome for most people. It’s usually exactly that – a dream.

The job industry is notoriously competitive and the best you can do is fully equip yourself for the process and make sure you consider all the alternatives. It’s worthwhile considering a range of options in terms of what they can deliver before discounting any opportunities – simply because they don’t exactly match up. Starter jobs can often bring a new set of skills that in turn will help lead on to where you really want to be; or it may even take you on a path you hadn’t previously considered.

If you do end up in an unsatisfactory job, or no job at all, or maybe just living back at home – remember, it’s not forever. True fulfilment will always come from within so make the decisions that are right for you, stay open-minded and try not to be influenced by your peers’ perceived successes.

If you are still drawing blanks, consider all the options available to you: Is it further education? An alternative career path? A change of location? There are many routes that lead to Rome – don’t get hung up on what you see as the most obvious path, as opportunity is often hiding where you least expect. Stay positive and be confident in your own abilities.

How can I improve my options?

Think smart about the ways you can boost your workplace appeal that goes beyond your marks.

  • Work experience – either directly related or not – is a useful tool and can often lead to paid positions.
  • Volunteer work – a great way to demonstrate commitment and versatility. It also enables you to gain knowledge of different communities.
  • Travelling – a great option for gaining experience in a related field, performing charity work or simply expanding your mind. Spending time in a completely different environment with a whole new set of people can really reset your thoughts around what you want to do – and reaffirm what is important to you.
What if I just want to carry on studying?

If you are serious about post-grad study, make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons – and not just because the prospect of leaving student life isn’t looking too appealing. Continued study is a good option for careers in academia, or for helping ensure entry into your chosen profession.

Make sure you have researched all the course options available, and fully understand the application procedure and deadlines – as well as any Visa requirement considerations.

Photo by Juan Ramos on Unsplash

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