The new educational year has started, and many of you recent graduates out there may be confused about what to do next. Of course, you’ll be wanting to take the next step in your career. However, there are many viable options to help you set off on your career path.

As someone who graduated few years ago, I know there are many things you need to consider once University is over. You’ll want to consider your financial and living situation, as well as your career. In my experience, these are the first things you should handle.

1. Update Your CV

The absolute first thing you should do is update your CV / Resume. You’ll want to list your brand new degree, as this is a huge selling point to many employers. Also make sure you mention relevant work experience, modules, and any sports or societies you took part in.

Universities often provide help with students CVs, even after you’ve graduated. You can also look online for graduate CV writing tips, or CV writing services. I would recommend writing your CV in Microsoft Word, as this is the most widely accepted format

2. Look For Career Opportunities

With your CV up to date, the next step is to send it out. There are many different routes you can take for your career after graduation.

Most likely, you’ll want to find a job. Making money is the main concern for many graduates, and getting a job will further your career instantly. While some people take any minimum wage job they can get, some websites let you find various graduate jobs. This way, you can find a fulfilling job in your chosen field.

Another option is to go into further education. Doing a Masters Degree can help widen your career opportunities further.  I’ve found taking on temporary work placements or internships is an excellent choice. It will help you gain career experience and look good on your CV.

3. Reassess Your Finances

Without those sweet student loan funds coming in, you’ll need to reconsider your finances. Changing your bank account to a graduate account is the first step. Most banks will still give you a generous overdraft.

You might want to move back home. This can help you save some extra money while you look for jobs. Also, research what discounts are still available to you. You can get an NUS extra card as a graduate. You can also renew your 16-25 railcard, providing you’re 25 or under.

4. Make A 5-Year Plan

A good way to ensure success is writing out a career action plan. You don’t need to follow the plan exactly. It’s simply to help you set goals and figure out how to achieve them.

For example, your first step may be to get a graduate job. However, in two years time, you may want to move up to an executive position. By five years, you may want to be planning your own business.

It doesn’t have to be a 5-year plan- perhaps a 10-year plan is more practical for you. Either way, putting down some ideas on paper can help you work things out step by step.

Until you find a well-paying job, it’s best to spend less and save more. Focus on building your career skills for greater financial rewards in the future.

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