What to do when you don’t know what to do for your career

Does it feel as if everyone except you has a clear career plan? As an experienced careers adviser, I can wholeheartedly assure you that you are NOT the only one!

In Careers Appointments we regularly see students who are unsure of their next steps. Not knowing what you want to do is not a problem!

A final year student making some notes
Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Start by doing something

There are various ways to identify what might suit you and the easiest and simplest way is to start by doing something. If you wait until the ‘perfect’ job comes along, you can end up in a state of indecision and hesitance.

Take the pressure off yourself by looking for ‘A first graduate job’ rather than ‘THE graduate job’. Don’t forget, your career journey is an ever-evolving process!

Your first graduate role will give you valuable experience to build on and develop your transferable skills, even if you learn that you really don’t like a particular role or sector.

Choosing a company and a job

It’s really hard to know from the outside what a job or company is actually like, and our knowledge is often based on assumptions. 

Remember that there are hundreds of job titles you might never have heard of. Behind the doors of a company that might seem uninspiring could be a huge number of interesting jobs that you can move sideways into.

  • Top tip: Why not explore some employer profiles and don’t forget that LinkedIn is also a great platform for this kind of research!

Learn not to take ‘failure’ personally

Failure is an unfashionable word and you can really support yourself by learning to react positively to roadblocks or setbacks.

Learning not to take ‘failure’ personally will help your resilience and perseverance that will stand you in good stead.

The job market is often simply a matter of numbers – many applicants to just one vacancy, for example – so your positive outlook will ease the pressure and will help you compete in this environment.

We’re here to help you with your career plans

As Careers Advisers we can certainly help you increase your chances of getting shortlisted, by looking at your applications and unpacking for you the ways employers assess applications.

Book an online appointment – we look forward to working with you!

This blog has been written by our careers adviser, Janie Angell

Further reading

How ‘Planned Happenstance’ can help your career
Create your own career planner
The DOs and DON’Ts of LinkedIn etiquette
Getting started with your career plan

Job searching

Civil Service Jobs 
Target Jobs