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Career Planning

After uni: What to do if you don’t know what to do


With third-year students getting closer and closer to leaving university, that nagging question keeps cropping up: "what are you going to do when you graduate?"

For the lucky few studying vocational courses it’s not such an issue, but for those studying anything else it can be difficult knowing where to go once you graduate and what you really want to do. So here’s a list of reasons why it’s ok not to know what career you want to go into as soon as you graduate.

You have time to take a breather. If you didn’t take a gap year then it’s likely you’ve been in education for around 17 years. Now you finally have some free time to travel and cross some things off your bucket list.

Instead of jumping into a graduate job that you’re uncertain about, try out a few different internships or do some volunteering to help you make up your mind. Many places are even beginning to offer paid work experience...

You’re still young and have plenty of time to make a decision. Many people decide to change their career paths at a much later date in their lives or after working for one company for several years start doing freelance work or switch to another company.

If you really don’t want to leave university, you don’t have to. Apply to do an MA if there’s a subject that you’re passionate about. This could help with your career prospects in the future and also means that you get another year to enjoy being a student.

And, if your family will have you, you can move back home and indulge in free rent and food while you apply for jobs. You'll have time to take up something new, whether it’s a musical instrument or a sport, and make some new friends at the same time.