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As a student, it is sort of expected of you to know what you want to do with your life. Especially when it comes to choosing postgraduate degrees and applying for graduate jobs. The process can be very daunting- how exactly are you meant to know where you want your career to go?
As students progress through university, many don’t have a clear career in mind. Maybe you chose a degree that you no longer find interesting or maybe you chose your particular degree to please your parents and now you find yourself more confused than ever about what you want to do with your career. Or perhaps you have a vague sense of what you’d like to do but haven’t been able to form any concrete plans. Whatever way, here are some tips to help you:
- Be open-minded and think ‘outside’ the box.
Look at other career options that you may not be familiar with, don’t just restrict yourself to what is common amongst others. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. Just because your classmates want a career in banking or law it doesn’t mean that you have to want one too.
- Ask questions, be curious, and find out about different things.
Being curious is a great thing. By trying to find out as much as possible you will eventually gain a much broader knowledge of careers out there, opening up even more possibilities.
- Ask yourself if you prefer to work with a set regimen or more variety and flexibility.
These are good questions to ask yourself, as there are many different jobs out there that are suitable not only to who you are as a person now but to who you want to be.
- Gain experience in different areas.
The best way to get a feel for something is to try it. Gaining experience in different areas can be very helpful in helping you find your passion. For example, gaining work experience in different kinds of retail industries such as luxury, beauty, fashion, jewellery etc. will give you a better indication of what you like and what you don’t like.Try everything you possibly can as this will also allow you to gain new skills.
- If something catches your attention and sparks your interest, then try it out, explore it, and find out why.
Allow yourself to dream. Are there any jobs that you look at and think I would love it if I could do that? Explore why you feel that way. Think about the last time you were completely engrossed in something and lost track of time. What were you doing?
- Think about your hobbies and talents.
What do you really enjoy doing? Are these things you’d be happy and able to make a career out of? Try and gain work experience relating to any of your hobbies. If you like reading and writing, why not try writing a book?
- Find people that share your interests.
Having people around you that share your interests is very helpful, as you can really discuss and find out what your passions are. There could be a topic in particular that you constantly argue about with people – this could indicate a passion, explore it further.
You will know when you’ve found your passion. A good question to remember and ask yourself is: ‘If I wasn’t being paid for this job, would I still happily do it?’ If your answer is no, then you probably haven’t found your passion quite yet. If your answer is yes – well done, congratulations, you have found a career you are passionate about! It’s not easy to discover, but keep going until you find your passion and don’t be disheartened if it takes you a while.