Job opportunities are, we are constantly being told, more and more scarce. With a degree not being enough, students are pushing themselves to complete extra-curricular and voluntary activities alongside their studies when they graduate. While this is a hard thing to juggle, it is a great way to hit the ground running when trying to score your dream job at a young age. Depending on your career choice, a degree might not necessarily be needed – and if so it might not be the degree that you think – so make sure to consult a careers advisor before making these decisions.
Voluntary work is a great, if difficult, way to build your CV and gain experience in your area of interest. If you can’t find the job you want, try gaining experience by offering your work online. There is a fine line between being taken advantage of for your lack of experience, and the chance to build up skills, so make sure that if you are working for free, it is always increasing your skills base.
Keep an eye out for jobs
Just ask! You never know. If you have a dream company in mind, don’t just keep refreshing their jobs page. Get in contact. Ask about employment opportunities and be inventive. Try and get their attention in a way that suits the industry. If there are no employment opportunities, try asking about an internship or work experience. While perhaps for a short amount of time, or for little to no pay, this is a great way to get your foot in the door and receive training tailored to your ideal company. People are far more likely to want to hire someone they’ve met and seen hard at work.
Sort your priorities
You may find you have to sacrifice something along the way to getting your dream career. Location, career area and wage – these are the key three areas, and you will need to decide which is your priority. To work abroad, you may have to sacrifice industry area and wage. For your ideal industry, it may not be where you want to live long-term. For your first job, it may be worth going beyond your comfort zone to get your foot on the ladder for your dream job.
Is your current job your dream job?
You might not have considered it previously, but is there an aspect of your current job you enjoy more? If so, how can you maximise your time on this? Is there an area or department you would rather move to? Is there a chance for extra training? Arrange a meeting with your manager to discuss questions such as this; showing initiative will always help you progress further. Your company will want to train you up if they can so that they can hone your skills and keep them within the company. In turn, you are far more likely to be an enthusiastic and effective employee in an area that you enjoy.
Getting your dream job, usually, will take work, planning and some sacrifice. There may be times when you feel bogged down in your UK essays and your dream career seems far away, but remember that while you are working you are gaining experience in the area you want, so you should never stop looking for opportunities to advance. Once you’re comfortable and have made friends, leaving for a new job may be hard. But if it’s your dream career, don’t let this hold you back! It will be worth it.