The working bible: Crucial contacts for the big, wide world of work

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The Independent Online

Get a move on

Once the course is over, it'll be time to pack your bags and move on out. Your best option when you start work is probably to rent a room in a shared house. Arm yourself with the local newspaper and get on the blower - or search online. Make sure you visit any property before you sign up. And ask plenty of questions. Where are the smoke alarms? How much is the deposit? How long is the contract?

www.lettingsearch.co.uk; www.findaproperty.co.uk

Green bills

You're going to have to set up bills to heat and power your post-uni home, so start right by signing up to ethical providers. Ecotricity uses wind power, as does Juice, the partnership provider between nPower and Greenpeace. Green Energy UK offer gas and electricity, without using fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Switching over won't cost you a penny, and it will make all the difference to the world.

www.ecotricity.co.uk; www.npower.com/At_home/Juice-clean_and_green.html; www.nef.org.uk/greenenergy/index.htm

Taxing issues

For (possibly) the first time in your life, as a fully employed member of society, you will have to pay Council Tax. How much you pay depends on the area and property you live in. Discounts are available for full-time students and for those living alone. For more information, visit the Government website or contact your local authority. Look at differences in costs from area to area: renting a house on an adjacent street may put you in a borough with lower rates.

www.voa.gov.uk

Job lot

There are two ways to job hunt: on the streets and online. For the latter, there is a range of services where you fill in your requirements and qualifications, and then receive e-mails about jobs that fit your criteria. There may be a charge but if you factor in the money saved by not having to buy bus tickets and photocopy your CV, it may be worth paying. Milkround online is the UK's leading internet-based graduate recruitment service. It has thousands of jobs and employers, and a special diversity section.

An alternative plan is to job search through an agency. There are loads out there, each catering for different types of work and people. The biggest office-worker agencies include Reed and Office Angels.

www.milkround.com; www.office-angels.com; www.reed.co.uk

Getting help

If you're yet to find a job, AGCAS (the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) can help. They produce careers publications and lists information on recruitment fairs. Similarly, AGR (the Association of Graduate Recruiters) offers news of forthcoming graduate recruitment fairs nationwide.

www.agcas.org.uk; www.agr.org.uk

Fighting fit

It's easy to find yourself on the sleep-work-eat-drink treadmill. But spending every night in the boozer is going to cost you - in funds and in health. You'll need to do more than hold down a job and scrape through - you'll need to excel. And, as they say, healthy body; healthy mind. You could get on your bike, join a gym, a football team, a dance class...

www.britishcycling.org.uk; www.direct.gov.uk/LeisureAndRecreation/Sport; www.fitnessfirst.co.uk

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