If you’re thinking about life after university, then you’ll know there is a lot of complex feelings, like excitement, confusion, even some pressure. What steps can students of any year, as well as specifically finalists, do to get prepared for life after uni? Read on from career consultant Irrum Magre as part of our #MyNextSteps blog and workshop series.
Written by: Irrum Magre
One of the most common sentences I hear as a careers professional from students goes something like this ‘It feels like all my friends have a plan sorted with internships or full-time work…but me.’
You might be feeling the pressure to do the same. I can tell you with some certainty that even if it feels like all your friends are sorted, they’re likely to be in a similar position to you.
Getting ready for the transition: 3 tips to build success
At a time where there can be a lot of upheavals and we are also juggling with the added complexity of working/studying from home, it becomes so important that you consider taking some steps in your final year (also applicable to whatever stage of stage you are in!) to make that transition from university to graduate life easier.
1) Carry out a self-audit
Why? If you find it hard to think about what your strengths are or where your skills sit best, ask a friend to help you identify what you are good at. If you like making lists, go ahead and write one and make an appointment with a careers consultant to work out what you want to do with it. In order to take that next step, it’s important to take some time to reflect on the things that are important to you. These things may be about your work/life balance, being creative, working in teams, money, values etc.
Interestingly results from our recent Instagram student feedback poll, indicated that students chose ‘fulfilment’ as a popular answer to the question ‘what do you want to get most out of your career?’ We know that in our post-pandemic world, job satisfaction and fulfilment is possibly becoming more important as we have had the time to reflect and consider what is important to us. Getting a clearer sense of this may help you to focus on where you want to be.
2) Make connections
You may not be able to walk into the job of your dreams straight away. But if you make contacts and connections during your time at university, you could start the process of getting there. There are plenty of opportunities to attend virtual events, open days and to use professional networks like Linkedin to connect with individuals who may be in a position to help you and offer support.
Reach out to the Alumni Mentoring network at King’s where you can search the directory to find contacts by industry, organisation, job function, subject studied, year of graduation, location, or area of expertise and expand your professional networks. Also, check out our Networking support and advice on KEATS to help you along the way.
3) Look after yourself
A total of 122 students who participated in a poll ‘How important is it to you to consider your mental and physical health with career planning’ responded on a scale indicating ‘very important’. And this doesn’t come as a surprise. At a time where there can be quite a lot of upheaval, it’s important to look after your physical and mental health.
Take a moment to invest in your wellbeing and to make the most of the benefits of being part of the King’s community. Check out the Take Time In wellbeing campaign events, activities and ideas on offer throughout May 2021 to help you achieve this. If you feel that you need to, you can also contact Mind’s Infoline on 0300 123 3393 (Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm), or talk to your GP about support for mental or physical health.
That’s our 3 top tips to gaining clarity about your life after university. It can be a daunting thing, but don’t worry. Give yourself time to figure things out. And remember, King’s Careers & Employability supports alumni up to 2 years after graduation. Read more on our website about how to create an alumni account when you need to.