It may feel like it’s too early to start thinking about your future career. It’s too big a subject, too difficult, or just too bewildering to think about. Whether you’ve just started your final year at University, are part-way through your course or have only just got here, there’s still plenty of time… isn’t there?
Perhaps there is, but do you really want to leave it to the last minute?
Here are five reasons why right now could be the best possible time to start:
- The sooner the better. The earlier you start thinking about your future career, the more time you will have to prepare; starting now means that you can pace yourself and fit in additional activities around your studies.
- Don’t know what your future dream job is? No problem! Use the time to explore options to work out what you would really like to do. Talk to a Career Consultant to look at your options, or seek opportunities to shadow a professional who’s already working in an area that interests you to find out what it’s really like to do their job.
- Already working part-time or volunteering? Think about how the skills you’re gaining can be useful in your future career. For example, can your experience of working in a bar or a shop demonstrate your customer service and team-working skills? You can also use the time to look for opportunities to take on additional responsibility and perhaps start to develop leadership, management and organisation skills.
- Get a head start. Working on your job-seeking skills such as writing a good CV and presenting yourself well at interview while at University can help you to be well-prepared when the time comes to apply for graduate roles. If you can also show prospective employers that you have developed workplace skills such as making a presentation, using spreadsheets or managing a project, you can set yourself apart from other graduates who haven’t developed these skills.
- Think about who you know. Building up your network – whether it’s your friends and family, lecturers and support staff at University or other professionals – can help you find opportunities and build confidence for the future.