In this post, we’ll show you:
- How To Avoid A Graduate Career That Makes You Want To Stick Pins In Your Eyes
- What The Harvard Business Review Has Found To Be ‘The Biggest Regret’ In Dissatisfying Careers
- Why You Have More Options Than You Think
Getting a graduate job is not the easiest thing in the world, especially with headlines like these . It’s almost as if just having a graduate job is an achievement in itself.
You might even start to think that you have to take whatever you can get because, hey, its so bad out there.
Fortunately, this isn’t the case.
A recent survey by The Which Guide clearly shows that there are more than enough jobs out there for UK grads – so you don’t have to take the first thing that comes along and end up stuck with a job you’ll hate 6 months down the line.
Not only is it possible to get a graduate job, but you can get a great graduate job that you genuinely like and enjoy doing.
But let me first show you how to AVOID getting a graduate job you hate
Simon was a recent graduate that I met during my recruitment days.
When he graduated, Simon wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He knew that he wanted a job where he had plenty of autonomy and where could be promoted, maybe even go into management.
However, having read all the news and headlines about THE LACK OF JOBS for graduates he got scared. So scared that he applied for everything under the sun and jumped on the first job he was offered without doing any research.
He blagged his way into an administration role, which turned out to be a huge mistake because Simon HATED administration.
Unsurprisingly he despised the role, but also the company and the environment – he found it boring, constraining and would rather stick pins in his eyes than do administration.
It was also pretty obvious there was no future promotion in the cards with that company. He was stuck and he hated it. Simon only lasted for 6 months and eventually left, disillusioned, disheartened and not knowing what else to do.
You don’t have to fall into the same trap.
Simon allowed himself to be rattled by the media’s scaremongering and took a job he wasn’t interested in, and even worse – he accepted a job offer without bothering to research the company or the role.
If he had taken some time to figure things out he wouldn’t have chosen a stagnant job with no career prospects.
So how do you stop yourself from getting into the same predicament as Simon?
By focusing on the following: Interest, Knowing what you want out of a job, Flexibility, Picking a niche and Being focused. We’ll explore all of these in turn below.
Simon made several mistakes, the biggest one of which was choosing a career he had no interest in. Interest is by far the biggest factor in whether or not you’ll enjoy your chosen profession – if you’re not at least interested, what have you got? It seems insane to be doing something potentially for 10-15 years or more and not be interested in it.
Some of the biggest career regrets come from people who choose a career based on anything but interest and hated it. According to a survey by the Harvard Business Review, choosing another factor like money over interest caused nothing but regret:
“By far the biggest regret of all came from those who opted into high-paying but ultimately dissatisfying careers”
So How Do You Find Something That You’re Interested In?
To uncover your interests, get a piece of paper, a pen and answer the following questions:
I) Start with your dislikes: what is it that you are not interested in? Its better to eliminate the stuff you really don’t want to do beforehand.
II) Write down all your interests – and then prioritise them in order of importance.
III) What do you enjoy doing?
IV) What are you good at?
V) What do you enjoy that someone would pay you for?
2) Know What You Want Out Of A Job.
At risk of sounding like an interview question, you have to ask yourself ‘What motivates you’?
Be honest with yourself – is it money? Is it career progression? Or are the skills you’ll learn on the job the most important ?
Whether its salary, career development, skill set or anything else: establish which factors are important to you and what you want out of a job.
3) Pick A Niche And Focus
Once you’ve established what you’re interested in and what you want out of a job its time to pick a niche (a specialty) and to focus. Why? Because if you know exactly what you’re after its easier to find a graduate job you’ll enjoy.
There are three things to consider: field, niche and location.
- Field – Focus on a certain field: finance, law, sports, media…the possibilities are endless.
- Niche – Focus on a particular niche: A niche is a highly focused specialty e.g. Finance is a field but a job as a Financial Planner is a niche within Finance. You might need to do a little research to find out what niches there are in your chosen field.
- Location – Focus on a certain location: big cities tend to have the most opportunities (although this isn’t always the case) With location, the more flexible you can be the better.
4) Research Your Field
If knowledge is power then research is your armour against ending up with an awful job.
Research your initial interests:
- Research the factors you are drawn to (i.e. salary, location, career prospects etc)
- Research industries of interest,
- Research companies,
- Research industry trends
- Research typical job positions available.
Putting some time and effort into research will go a very long way in ensuring that you end up with a career that’s a perfect fit for you.
5) Flexibility is Key
Don’t be afraid to be flexible. There is no such thing as a job for life
Just because you are currently thinking of pursuing one particular career right now doesn’t mean you are stuck with that job forever.
Plenty of people change careers throughout life, so if you want to explore another field or another career its really not that big of a deal.
So those are 5 practical tips on how to stay away from potential graduate jobs you hate.
What about you? Have you ever had a job you’ve hated? What advice would you give? Let us know in the comments
If you enjoyed this post, you might like:
Image Credits Via Flickr: Republished Under Creative Commons License:
Yasser Alghofily – I hate this job
Cristiano Betta – Day 2 – Boring
Marco Bellucci – Question mark
Jonathan Deamer-We’re not scaremongering, this is really happening