What’s next after graduating?
Hi again everyone! – it’s my third year of studying engineering at university. I’m not in my final year, but even so, that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about what’s next after university. It’s never too early to begin looking at graduate jobs and career options, right?
It’s these questions that I’ve found useful to ask myself, so far:
What specific sector am I interested in most within my degree discipline?
What are my natural motivations and passions that I can bring to my career?
How ambitious do I want to be?
How busy do I estimate my non-work part of life to be after graduation?
Where geographically is of interest?
Lets think about each of these:
1. What specific sector am I interested in most within my degree discipline?
Firstly, what’s the degree? How broad is it? How many jobs can you get in it? And what interests you the most? As an example, I study mechanical engineering, which is arguably the broadest of engineering degree specialisms. I can go into a lot of different sectors (from manufacturing to finance) but I’m interested in biomedical (it’s useful to be able to answer this question now, before graduating, so that you can start to research opportunities in this area, and tailor any optional modules within the degree towards your interests).
2. What are my natural motivations and passions that I can bring to my career?
To answer this question, it can be helpful ask yourself this: what motivates you the most when you think about your future – what makes you want to get up and work towards that goal? Do you have an external passion that could help you in your work – e.g. working to reverse climate change, or helping other people? Perhaps you just want to earn as much money as possible. Whatever it is, find what makes you tick and add it in as another perspective to your job-searching equation. Using myself as an example, I really want to have a positive impact to help other people.
3. How ambitious do I want to be, and what things might I be willing to sacrifice in search for a good job?
This is two questions in one because I think they are closely linked. E.g., an ambition for a really full on but well paid job might mean you have less time to spend with family or friends. Oppositely, you might sacrifice something like pay or job stability to do a job you really, really love and are passionate about.
4. How busy do I estimate my non-work part of life to be after graduation?
I.e. what other things might be going on in your life that you might keep overlooking in your determination to get a good grad role? Are there certain ties (maybe with family or certain events coming up) that you need to take into consideration when doing your job search? I mainly am bringing this up because I think it’s better to think about these things before making the decisions and then dealing with consequences later.
5. Where geographically is of interest?
E.g. abroad? Or perhaps less than an hour from your hometown? If you are interested in finding work internationally, it’s good to start looking and searching countries and opportunities. Oppositely, a close place to your hometown might narrow your search, so it’s good to help thinking about what is available in the area and how you can tailor towards your interests in that way. Or maybe you are interested in a certain town or city.
After you have answered each of these questions in a few words each, string them all together – you’ve just made your equation for your ideal graduate job search. Hope this is mildly helpful – have fun!