What to Do when you Don’t Know what to Do: A Guide for Upcoming Graduates

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So, your time at university is nearly at its end.

With panic in your eyes you start to frantically google graduate jobs.  You have no idea what you’re going to do.  The three or four years have flown by, and you realise there will be no more Wind Street Wednesdays.  It’s time to get serious.

But do not fret, soon-to-be graduates:  because this guide is here to help.

1. Make the most of your time left at university

As well as making the most of the what little student time you have left i.e playing as much beer pong as you possibly can, it’s time to take advantage of what the university has to offer. If you’re anything like me, you will have overlooked things like career fairs, guest speeches, employability workshops – the list goes on.  Whoops.  But you still have time. If you can (turn off Netflix) try and complete the Swansea Employability Award  –  they have placements with companies such as SPIN, WOW and Santander. It might sound silly, but complete and online career quiz if you really have no idea which direction you want to head in.  Whilst I don’t particularly want to be a firefighter, it came up with other interesting possibilities. Make an appointment with the careers advisor, they offer good advice and understand the anxieties of swimming in the unemployed graduate pool.


2. Ask yourself what you have to offer

Apart from respectable drinking skills, what has university taught you? Try and map your key strengths and skills. What would set you apart from the thousands of graduates who are in the same position? Believe in yourself. Most importantly, what do you love doing? (I don’t mean Tooters on a Friday night)


3. Experience, build and polish

That’s right. It’s time to stop using your CV as a coaster.  Wipe the dust off of that baby and edit it. ‘Washed dishes at Frankie and Benny’s for two months’ is not going to make the cut. Try and get as much experience as you can, whether this be part-time work or voluntary.  There are countless societies at the university who would be thankful for help. Create a LinkedIn profile.  LinkedIn has really taken off in the past few years and prospective employers will be using it.


4. Get busy

As amazing and well-earned our month-long breaks might be, not many employers will be sympathetic to your need for some you time after an eight week slog in the office. (And by you time I mean a netflix binge, Dominos induced coma). Most graduates find the change to continuous working quite a shock.   Get yourself reading by busying your life in the lead up to finishing university. Internships are one option, though don’t be disheartened if you can’t bag a spot in the tearoom in the Googleplex. Finally, if you’re not ready to enter the big, scary world of work – do something else! Take a gap-yah, go on a trip, do something you love.


(written by Rachel Nichols of www.pumble.co.uk)

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