If you've just finished University or about to finish and you have no idea what you want to do with the rest of your life. I've got you covered. I've put together this list for young students to use as a guide to help you figure it out. Or at least gain some new experience till you figure it out.
According to recent research by the Sutton Trust, over 60% of young people in the UK feel ill-prepared for their working life after graduation.
So, if you're one of the many who are worrying about what comes next, join me to find out some of the best ways to get prepared for life after university.
As an ex-student myself, I can really appreciate the importance of preparing for working life post-university.
It's a scary time but also an incredibly exciting time too. The good news is I've put together this list full of my top tips on how to prepare for the next steps in your professional life.
This post is all about the Best Ways to Prepare for Life after University UK.
BEST WAYS TO PREPARE FOR LIFE AFTER UNIVERSITY UK
What do you want?
Ok, so you've had your graduation ceremony so now what?
For the first time in your adult life, you have to consider what you want and not what your parents/ or family want for you.
Will you continue studying? Enrol in another degree program to get a bachelor's degree? Do a postgraduate degree? or maybe head over to your old careers service to open a graduate account so they can help you find a job.
Firstly, take some time to really think about what you want from your career. What are your passions and interests? What kind of work do you see yourself doing in the long term?
Loads of people have no idea what to do as a new graduate. So if you can afford to this may be the best time to take a gap year to explore different career paths.
Once you have a good understanding of what it is you want, you can start to look at how to make it a reality.
Spending some time really getting to know the job market is a great way to start preparing for your future career.
What kinds of roles are out there? What skills and experience do you need? By doing your research you can start to get a feel for what you need to do to make your dream job a reality.
If you missed the university bubble and even the student discount you get, then you could consider doing a postgraduate course.
Make no mistake, it will be harder than completing a university/ college degree but at least you'll still be in higher education. That or getting a full-time job could be a great option.
Stand out from the crowd
Another important thing to think about is how you can make yourself stand out from the crowd.
In a competitive job market, every other recent graduates in your country will be job hunting for a graduate role in an entry-level job.
Even international students will be applying for the same graduate schemes you are. It’s important to have something that makes you stand out from the rest.
Whether it’s a particular skill or experience, or simply a great attitude, find something that will make you stand out and use it to your advantage.
Network, network, network!
It’s also important to start networking as soon as possible. For those of you who didn't start networking in your final year, the first thing to do is to start building your professional network now.
The best way to get connected with meeting new people in your industry is to attend events and conferences. Make sure you’re keeping up with the latest news and developments.
In the world of work, the more connections you have, the better your chances of landing your dream graduate job!
I have lots more info available on the benefits of networking, so pop over to discover more at Why Is Student Networking Important? 10 Best Tips For Success
Think about your well-being
Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Job hunting can be a stressful process which can cause weight loss, so make sure you’re taking care of your physical and mental health, along with your well-being.
Head over to my other article and discover more about kickstarting your energy levels! Why Are Student Well-being Important? 5 Ways To Get Energised!
Eat well, exercise, and take some time for yourself every day. If you do all of these things, you’ll be in great shape to tackle life after university.
So let's get down to my list of the 20 things I believe can help you make the transition from university student to full-fledged member of the working world!
1) Start networking as early as possible
It is a good idea to get involved with professional organisations in your field, attend industry events, and make connections with people who are already doing what you want to do.
Hook up on LinkedIn and start connecting with professionals in your field or area of interest.
Attend industry events and introduce yourself to as many people as possible.
2) Develop a strong work ethic
You need to work hard!
Hard work shouldn't come as a surprise to you. It may seem like you have plenty of time to before you need to make big decisions but you don't. So don't waste your free time scrolling your Instagram feed.
Use what little time you have left to get ahead and get out of your comfort zone to find new job opportunities.
Be punctual, meet deadlines, and go above and beyond what is expected of you. This will make you stand out from the competition when it comes time to apply for jobs.
3) Get some work experience
An internship or part-time job in your field of interest can give you a leg up when it comes to applying for full-time jobs after graduation.
Life experience also counts as you'd have developed many transferrable skills in those years of experience.
4) Brush up on your interview skills
Practice makes perfect, so take the time to perfect your elevator pitch and learn how to answer common interview questions.
Remember, good communication skills are one that all potential employers are looking for as it's helpful in any job role.
Any employer can provide good training but being able to communicate effectively is a valuable real world skill that goes a long way and gives you a leg up on your competition.
5) Start networking
Get connected with professionals in your field, attend industry events, and make connections with people who are already doing what you want to do.
There are a good deal of online tools out there that you can use to advance your graduate life and climb the career ladder.
6) Get involved in extracurricular activities
Join clubs and organisations related to your field of interest and volunteer for positions that will help you gain relevant experience in different sectors.
7) Consider pursuing an internship
Internships can give you the chance to test-drive a career and see if it’s the right fit for you.
They can also provide valuable experience and help you make connections in your field.
8) Start saving money
Once you enter the workforce, you’ll need to start paying off student loans, saving for retirement, and preparing for other financial responsibilities.
Begin setting aside money now so you’ll be better prepared for the future.
Check out my other helpful article to discover more saving tips.
9) Keep learning
Whether you’re taking classes, reading industry-related articles, or attending conferences and workshops, make sure you’re continuing to develop your skills and knowledge.
Remember, even at the end of your studies, you can still learn something new.
10) Develop a personal brand
Think about what makes you unique and use that to create an online and offline presence that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Begin creating and curating content that reflects your personal brand and professional aspirations.
11) Stay positive
The job search can be tough, but it’s important to stay positive and keep your chin up.
Remember that you’re not alone and that everyone goes through ups and downs preparing to leave university.
No matter how challenging things get, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.
12) Get a mentor
Find someone who’s been successful in your field and pick their brain for advice.
A mentor can help guide you and give you insights that you might not otherwise have access to.
13) Keep your resume updated
As you gain new skills and experiences, be sure to update your resume so that it’s always current.
This will make it easier to apply for jobs when the time comes.
14) Consider freelance work
Freelancing can be a great way to get your foot in the door of your desired industry.
It can also help you build up your experience and portfolio.
15) Get involved in extracurricular activities
Getting involved in activities outside of your coursework can help you develop new skills and make important connections.
16) Build up your online presence
In today’s digital world, it’s important to have an online presence.
Start a blog, create a website, or build up your social media accounts.
By doing this you can show potential employers your skills and interests and also demonstrate your ability to market yourself.
17) Be prepared to make sacrifices
Once you graduate, you may have to make some sacrifices to achieve your goals.
This may include moving to a new city, working long hours, or taking on an unpaid internship.
However, if you’re willing to make these sacrifices, it will pay off in the long run.
18) Enjoy your life outside of work
Once you start working, it’s important to have a life outside of work
This will help you stay balanced and avoid burnout.
Make sure to schedule time for your hobbies, friends, and family.
19) Get enough exercise
Exercise is important for both your physical and mental health.
It can help reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost your energy levels.
Make sure to get enough exercise every week, even if it’s just a brisk walk around the block.
20) Don’t compare yourself to others
Comparison is the thief of joy. It’s important to remember that everyone is on their journey and there is no need to compare yourself to others.
Stay focused on your own goals and be proud of your accomplishments.
Watch famed Youtuber and Entrepreneur Gary V as he gives awesome advice to Student's about to graduate from University/ College.
Final thoughts on the best ways to prepare for life after University UK...
Be grateful for all that you have, even if it doesn’t seem like much!
A positive attitude and gratefulness will help you attract more good into your life. Gratitude is the key to a happy and fulfilling life!
So there you have it! 20 ways to prepare for life after university. I hope you've got some valuable insights from this post.
Life after university can sometimes feel a little tough, but if you follow these tips, you'll be on your way to a bright future. Thanks for reading!
Don’t forget to check out my other helpful blogs here
Best of luck in your post-university journey!