It used to be very simple. At school teachers would always say “You need to study hard so you get good grades to get you into University”. At University the story was pretty much the same; lecturers would always say “You need to study hard so you get a good degree to get you into your dream job”. Then you would get your dream job and skip off into the sunset with your future very firmly placed into your hands.
So why is it that most media outlets these days report that graduate unemployment is at its highest since the early 90′s?
Unfortunately for students (and the Great British economy), many graduates are finding that getting into ANY job, let alone the dream job that your lecturer promised you, is a nearly impossible task. It could be that there are more students than ever before. It could be that there are fewer hiring companies than ever before. It is probably a combination of both.
Massive sums of money are invested into a student’s education and it is clearer today than ever before that your lecturer’s advice of “hard work = good degree = dream job” is a very dated way of approaching the recruitment ladder and not a very sound way to handle your very considerable educational investment (estimated to be around £26,000!).
So what can you do?
In a nutshell, there are two main things you can do; firstly, get work experience, even if it’s unpaid. If you are reading this whilst you are at the start of your studies then try to keep a job throughout the entirety of your academic career. If you can make the job relevant to your degree and whatever your dream job may be, fantastic! If you can’t, don’t worry too much; employers will always be more willing to listen to those who have applied themselves in any workplace than those who have only applied themselves in the pub. Some courses even offer the opportunity to do placement years; a great opportunity to pick up some real world experience in your chosen industry, something which employers crave.
The second thing; get networking. This doesn’t mean linking a load of computers together; it means building up your database of contacts and keeping in touch with them. One thing graduates always underestimate is the amount of people they will meet during University. Keep in touch with these people. Even if these people don’t seem useful to you right now, they may know other people who may be useful to you.Or, you could solely rely on your lecturer’s advice and let destiny find the dream job for you (please don’t actually do that).
About the Author
Harold Grise shares his interest on employment on behalf of Attic Recruitment Limited