Soon-to-Be Graduates: Top tips on how to choose your career path
Many people with significant experience in the workplace will have discovered that the education offered at the majority of schools and universities does not provide you with ‘real-life’ working experience. Today’s society lacks formal career-development counseling, and many companies do not have comprehensive induction or training programmes for new employees. This creates a situation where the vast majority of graduates lack the understanding and knowledge of the occupation and position for which they are applying for and what is expected in a workplace environment. This leaves them completely in the dark when it comes to choosing their future careers.
For everyone, choosing the right profession is extremely important. For someone with 10 years’ of experience in a given occupation, a wrong career turn can be disastrous, wasting years of precious time.
In light of this problem, I’ve compiled a list of recommendations that I hope will be of help.
1. Look for opportunities to gain real experience in the wider world or in a corporate environment. Visit the company that you are interested in working for and see what it’s really like. Look for opportunities in multiple departments and positions, seeking out different tasks and responsibilities and gaining hands-on experience for when the time comes for you to choose your own career direction.
2. Learn from those around you. Chat with older classmates, friends and family about work and the wider world. Learn more about what people actually do in their various professions (make an effort to be objective, avoiding hearsay and generalizations.)
3. Peruse the job descriptions put forth by large and established companies. See what different positions are currently on offer and the roles and responsibilities for each position. This will help you determine whether or not you meet their specifications, and what you can do to improve.
4. Find some tools for appraising yourself. Think about your strengths and weaknesses are, and in what type of work or role you’re interested in.
5. Read books about career development or solicit the advice of a career planner and let them help you find your way.
I hope the above points are of useful and hope you are able to get a head start on the job seeking process, and not wait until just before your graduation. Last-minute decision making doesn’t always lead to desirable results. Remember that your rewards will be in proportion to your efforts—apply yourself seriously to the task and you will definitely be successful. Good luck with the job search and if you require further advice, please don’t hesitate to contact me.