For years we have advised students and graduates on how to find employment. Universities have been morphing into career development institutions for years, and we have participated on many employability type forums aimed at bridging the gap between student, graduate and the working world.
We know it’s tough out there. It can feel really disheartening to graduate, and enter the job market. It’s a daunting time.
We have some main advice for you, whether you are a current university student, have recently graduated or you are looking for a career change or sabbatical.
We can’t emphasise this enough. Jobs will never be handed to you on a plate, you have to work for them. You have to work to find work. Think of the hunt for your next job, as the start of the job. Take it seriously, commit to it, schedule it and don’t lose faith. Remember, there is always always always an option.
Internships, volunteering and work experience are the number one way to land your next job. If you are a current student, you need to get out there and start gaining experience. We’ve all heard the saying ‘you need experience before you can get experience’ but seriously, it is really obvious to employers if you have spent a proportion of your time clubbing when you could have been volunteering at your local youth centre, or community centre, or helped with charity events.
An hour or two a week can make a huge difference to your future job prospects. You gotta get your time management skills sorted, and committing to a few hours of volunteer work a week will show you are capable of juggling multiple projects. We can help you find the right volunteer experience for you in your local area. Just get in touch and a member of the team will be happy to help you.
Work experience is always going to be basic with little responsibility. Money tends to match the level of responsibility you have. So as a student, or recent graduate, you cannot expect to be paid much, or at all if you have no experience. But it can happen quickly, A month or two and suddenly you have experience. Think about your journey as a series of stepping stones. You are aiming for a paid, graduate or a new job in a new sector, but you have to put the hours in.
Other benefits of volunteering is the multi-generational experience you gain. You are suddenly exposed to years and years of experience and advice. You will often be surrounded by people who have already been through many jobs and careers and you can learn a huge amount from other people. Joining a community is crucial to develop listening and communication skills.
Your job prospects will directly match the effort you are prepared to put in.
The world is changing fast. And you have to think outside of the box. Defaulting to a full time job might not be the best route for you. If you are at uni studying, you can pick up a few hours work here and there, and start working in a real-life environment. Finding a few hours or a day or two worth of work is much easier than finding a full time job. The risk is high for a company to recruit a recent graduate or someone that doesn’t have much experience. Offering to work for a few hours or on a freelance basis can get your foot in the door and reduce the risk for the company, whilst you are also able to show off your skills. Don’t expect too much at the beginning. Often people take years to find a job that suits them.
We live in a time of career portfolios where people switch up their jobs all the time. The trouble is, many young people are being given advice from their parents, who are from a totally different generation and think about work in a totally different way. Or they are given advice from university career teams who often land their first job at the same university they graduated from, never really entering into the working world.
Mixing up your work, and trying lots different things is what makes life exciting and gives you the most valuable work experience. By working for yourself, you can work for multiple companies and work with multiple teams. Ding Dong!
Full time work is a bit of an illusion. You end up earning less, and give up a huge amount of freedom. The set office hours aren’t fit for purpose anymore, and often you can waste hours and hours a day looking busy, when you could be being productive. The perceived safety of a full time job is also a fallacy, companies go bust, and redundancies happen. Look at the recent impact from coronavirus on the employment, tt has totally flipped the idea of work on its head.
Many companies are now offering remote working, as offices become dormant. If you have been a freelancer, you will be ahead of the curve, as many will have adapted to remote working years and years before.
We can talk and advise you on how to manage your time and stay positive, right up until you land a job.
CV and cover letter writing advice from a professional who reads hundreds of CVs a week.
Self-employed/freelance and the gig economy: Don’t be afraid to go it alone
Internships, volunteering and work experience; how this can lead you into your next paid position
It’s not all about you. It’s about the community you want to be a part of
We have over 20 years experience working and advising people on career paths, sabbaticals, work experience and volunteering.
We have sat on boards and forums at the UK’s top universities and given talks to over 200 students through the UK.
We have recruited, and hired people for over a decade and have sat on both sides of the recruitment fence.
We have been full time employees, self employed freelancers, volunteers, and everything in between.
We have been unemployed and found work again.
We have lost jobs and found work.
We are passionate about helping the next generation find work that they love and that makes them feel inspired.
We are here to support you if you are stuck in a rut at your current job, and will listen and guide you through a life-changing move.
We have international experience, having worked in Asia, Africa and most places in between.
Questions? Would you like to participate in a one-2-one advise session? That’s great – feel free to email us or call/whatsapp us on: +44 (0) 7704 129 816
Student: One-2-one session: £25 per hour
Graduate: One-2-one session: £25 per hour
Professional: One-2-one session: £50 per hour