How To Create A Career Plan After Graduation

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If you’re due to graduate from university, you’ll no doubt be filled with excitement to enter the world of work and get to where you want to be in life, however, it’s not always easy to achieve personal success straight away, and it can be hard to know which steps to take.

Creating a career plan after graduation is so important, as it can help you identify what actions you need to do to achieve both your short and long term career goals.

For those soon to be graduates unsure of what move to take next, don’t worry, chances are a lot of people will be feeling similar to you.

To help you out, we’ve created this guide with tips to create your own personal career plan! 

career plan after graduation

Tips To Create An Effective Career Plan 

A career plan is the roadmap for your career and will help you to identify your skills, widen your job search and help you get to where you need to be. 

If you’re wanting to develop an effective career plan and take charge of your professional development, you can discover our top tips below. 

Tips To Create An Effective Career Plan 

1. Evaluate Your Skills 

To create an effective career plan after graduating from university, it’s important to evaluate the current skills you possess, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. 

Have a think about what transferable skills you’ve gained from studying at university which you can take through into the working world. 

Be sure to craft a well-written resume if you haven’t already to highlight your skills, work experiences and accomplishments too! 

evaluating your skills career plan after graduation

2. Further Develop Your Skills & Experience 

After you’ve evaluated your current skills and what you’re good at or not so good at, think about what other key skills you could gain to help you get a competitive edge and stand out from other candidates. 

This will help you to understand what career suits you, but it will also help you to determine if you’re qualified enough to take your preferred career path. 

Whilst you may have obtained a Bachelor’s degree, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll meet the requirements of certain job roles just yet.

Consider internships, part-time jobs, volunteer work or even further education such as certifications or a postgraduate course to further develop your skills. 

further developing your skills and experience

3. Research Your Options 

After identifying your skills, you should research what careers might suit you, and take a look at industries or companies that appeal to you. 

Whilst researching career options from a skills point of view is important, you should also think about things from an enjoyment perspective.

Be sure to read into salaries, company culture, working hours and commute times when researching different job roles, and think about whether or not you’d feel happy and fulfilled in certain industries. 

If you’re not sure whether you’d be a good fit for a particular job or industry, perhaps it’s not the direction you should head in. 

Studies suggest that only half of all UK graduates work in the industry that relates to their degree after leaving university so, don’t worry if you change your mind about what you want to do, many people will be in the same boat!

researching your options career plan

4. Set Realistic Goals 

Setting goals is all about determining where it is you want to be within your career. 

As you’ll know from studying at university, setting goals can help you to stay motivated as you’ll have something to work towards and you’ll feel inspired to work harder. 

However, it’s important to note that some goals can be too ambitious to achieve straight away, especially as a recent graduate, so you should be sure to set yourself realistic goals.

When setting yourself specific goals, write them down and break them into actionable steps whether in a journal or a planner, as this will help you to remember and achieve each milestone. 

It’s also important to assign yourself deadlines and hold yourself accountable to ensure you make progress with meeting your career goals.

If you do achieve any of your goals no matter how small, be sure to reward yourself for working hard! 

set realistic goals

5. Build Your Professional Network 

Networking is crucial for career advancement so if you haven’t already, make sure to set up a LinkedIn profile and keep it up to date with relevant experience and connect with professionals in your field of interest. 

To effectively use LinkedIn as a graduate, be sure to enable the “Open to Work” feature as this will make yourself discoverable to employers and agencies, and let them know you’re looking for a graduate job. 

Other helpful ways you can take the next step in your career is through attending industry events, as you can build contacts which can help open you up to more opportunities and learn from experienced individuals who can give you guidance and mentorship. 

You could also join professional organisations and social media groups to find out more about other people’s experience with potential career paths, their job satisfaction and current industry trends. 

building your professional network

6. Seek Guidance

Choosing a career is no walk in the park so if you’re struggling with where to start or what jobs might suit you, don’t worry, there is support and guidance out there. 

Talking with a careers advisor can provide you with valuable insights, advice, and help you to refine your career path. 

Simply searching ‘careers advice’ online will bring up tons of helpful materials if you’re stuck with what direction to head in.

After leaving university, you’ll also have access to graduate-specific career support which can help you to land your dream job and launch your career. 

From exploring career options open to you to learning how to create tailored CVs and job applications to opportunities and activities which can enhance your skills and confidence, there’s plenty of learning materials and tools out there for you to make the most of! 

careers guidance

Whilst we hope these tips have been helpful, remember that career planning is an ongoing process which requires you to review and adjust your plan regularly. 

We wish you all the best with your future endeavours and hope you secure your dream job. 

Now go out there and start applying for jobs, you’ve got this! 

Have you got any more tips for creating a career plan after graduation? Let us know @prestigestudentliving.

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