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Graduating university can come with a lot of mixed emotions. For some it may feel as though they’ve closed one chapter and opened another as they prepare for working life. For others it can be much more daunting with feelings of fear and uncertainty about what’s next.
The truth is, you have many options before you and whatever decision you make now may not necessarily be the final one, so try not to get too caught up in your immediate decisions.
We hope the ideas and resources we’ve laid out below will be helpful to you in this new phase of your life as you figure out what is next for you.
1. Am I passionate enough about what I studied to pursue a career in that specific field?
For some students the decision to follow in the field of their degree is simple and requires little thought. For others, the decision may be a little more hazy.
Consider whether the study you have undertaken over the last 3+ years ignites your passion and curiosity, and whether you can see yourself pursuing a career down this path.
If you’re struggling to get excited about it, remember most degrees are flexible enough that they lend themselves to a variety of paths. Consider whether a different career related to your area of study, or extra training might help to clarify things for you.
2. Should I pursue further education?
Speaking of additional training - taking on further study to specialise in a particular field, or deciding to do a masters degree are also options for those who want to hone in on a specific career path.
If you are looking for an exciting career where you can contribute to something bigger than yourself, consider enrolling and studying to become a Chartered Accountant (CA). By completing the CA Program and becoming a CA you will not only gain a professional designation but also hold an accredited and internationally recognised postgraduate qualification - the Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting (GradDipCA).
For more on how becoming a CA can help you make a difference within businesses, communities and societies, check out You Unlimited’s Become a Difference Maker.
3. Is my resume strong enough to apply for jobs?
Make sure your resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) is up-to-date and ready to send off with job applications.
It can feel like a daunting task if you’ve never written one before, so for tips on effective resume/CV writing check out our guide.
4. What do I do, if I don’t have much work experience?
Work experience isn't always necessary to land a great job, but it is a great way to show that you’re keen and excited to get your foot in the door of a graduate role.
Internships are one way to go about getting industry experience and knowledge in the field that you’d like to work in.
Consider applying for an internship as a new graduate. You can use the Chartered Accountants Career Directory tool to assist you.
5. Where can I look for jobs?
One of the best next steps for a new graduate is a graduate job in your area of study. Grad jobs are the ideal way of breaking into an industry, at an entry level and get paid to do so.
There are also many benefits to grad roles including training, career progression and networking opportunities.
Check out the You Unlimited graduate job guide. You can filter it by your qualification and the sector you’re interested in working in, and find an opportunity that suits you!
6. How can I build my soft skills to improve my employability?
Soft skills (communication skills) are things that you typically pick up on in everyday life by experiencing different situations and challenges, however actively giving them a polish would be a beneficial move for your professional life at this stage, too.
It can be helpful to think of soft skills as the potential difference between being an employer's ideal candidate, and a merely adequate one.
7. How can I perform better at job interviews?
When going for job interviews, make sure you’ve thoroughly researched and understood the company, it’s values and the work they do.
It’s also going to help you understand the role of the job that you’re applying for and pick out any skills that would be necessary to have, and then use real life examples to reference back to those skills.
For more on how to show your skills during an interview, see this article: Top skills finance and accounting graduates need for success.
8. What future would make you happy?
When trying to make a decision about what comes next consider what would make you feel happy and fulfilled. Maybe that's further study, a study break, part-time or casual work or even starting over with a completely different direction.
Whatever it is, ensure that you are doing it for you and forging a future that you will be proud of when you look back on your choices in 20 years’ time.
There are so many options for what to do next once you’ve graduated, you just have to think about what you’d like to do and go from there. There is no right answer, but remember to listen to your passions and take it one step at a time.
Want to work on improving your employability?
You can't necessarily control whether or not a recruiter chooses you from a pile of job applications, but you can do everything in your power to make yourself the most impressive candidate you can be.Check out now