How to kickstart your career while you’re still studying
As it is National Careers Week (4-9 March), it’s time to talk about some ways that you can kickstart your career while you’re still studying. Gaining experience can seem daunting, especially when you’re not entirely sure what you want to do in life after university. So, we’re breaking it down into five simple steps that’ll help you get a head start in your career, whichever path you choose…
1. Attend events and workshops
Most universities will hold multiple events throughout the year to give you tips on the job search process; from writing your initial CV to how to succeed in an interview. While you might be tempted to stay in bed on your days off rather than attend one of these, I would definitely recommend them as they are a great way of preparing yourself for when you’re ready to apply for jobs, so you don’t feel as though you’ve been thrown in at the deep end.
2. Search for internships
Student internships are a great way to get your foot in the door of your chosen field and maybe earn a little bit of money alongside university too. This is a great excuse to keep your CV up to date. Also, even if you come out of an internship realising that this is not what you want to do after university, you’ve still earned valuable experience, potentially transferable skills, and have a better idea of what you’d like to do in life.
3. Find some voluntary work
On a realistic note, student internships are often competitive, so, don’t be disheartened if you don’t get that job. In order to gain relevant experience, you could do some volunteering work. This could just be for a couple of hours a week, so it’s not taking too much time out of your studies but it shows that you’ve been committed to finding relevant experience.
4. Join societies (and even apply to be on the committee)
One thing that I would highly recommend making the most of while you are at university is the opportunity to join societies. Not only is it one of the best ways to meet like-minded people, it can help you add more experience to your CV. Why not take it one step further and apply to be on the committee for a society? This is a great way to show off your leadership and time management skills. Take it from me, having been the treasurer of the student magazine at university, the experience has definitely helped me stand out from the crowd when applying for roles!
5. Network, network, network!
I think one thing that is seriously underrated when it comes to kickstarting your career is networking. Whether you’re building up your connections on LinkedIn or attending networking events in your university or the local area, this is so important in order to find those job opportunities. A personal anecdote here; one of my best jobs was a result of having some connections in the relevant field. It can be a bit intimidating, but it’s totally worth it!
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