At this time of year there are lots of posters, publications, messages and events about graduate jobs, whether they’re schemes run by big companies or ‘mainstream’ graduate careers.
What happens, though, if you’re not interested in working for a large corporate or don’t want to go into ‘traditional’ work after university?
It’s not to say the role of an accountant, retail manager or management consultant isn’t challenging and interesting, but obviously they don’t appeal to every student or graduate.
4 alternative approaches
Not working 9 – 5 to make a living
Work doesn’t have to mean the usual office hours. Flexible working is widely available for ‘typical’ jobs, as well as the more unusual working environments. It could involve compressing working hours – working more hours on fewer days during the week or working from home, giving you more freedom for fitting in work and home life.
Portfolio careers (because one size doesn’t fit all)
Why have just one job, when you can have several? In some sectors (eg the creative industries, consultancy, etc) portfolio careers can be the norm. However, it may be an individual’s lifestyle choice, enabling them to have a variety of roles or test out possible career/business ideas.
Our alternative working web page details both flexible working and portfolio careers, as well as self-employment.
The great outdoors (or somewhere other than an office)
You may not know exactly what you want to do as a job, but you might be clear that you don’t want to work in an office. If that’s the case, you need to check out careers in a variety of environments. Try generating some career ideas, using some of the resources listed on the career planning information sheet. Alternatively, see what different jobs entail with Prospects’ generic job profiles. However, be prepared – many jobs may require you to be office-based, so even if you’re ‘out and about’ for most of the day, you may spend some time in an office!
Small is beautiful
The large companies you see on campus are not the only option. There are also small/medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and in the UK small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector companies in 2017.* So, it’s unsurprising to know that a lot of of graduates go on to work for these sorts of employers.
There’s more information about working for SMEs on our website.
Want something alternative?
Have a look at the resources mentioned above first and then book a careers advice appointment via Careers Gateway to discuss things further.
You might also be interested in our Science careers outside the lab information sheet and 10 alternative science careers.
* FSB – www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/small-business-statistics
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