Whatever your year of study, there are things that can be done to enhance your employability. However, having a range of choices can be a little overwhelming and ‘careers stuff’ can seem serious, scary or just too far in the future to face now.
Don’t be tempted to avoid it, though or to put off thinking about the actions you can take. Instead, ‘chunk-up’ those actions to make them more manageable and less daunting.
Let’s look at what that means for different stages you may be at.
- Thinking about career ideas
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in first or final year, it’s never too soon to start exploring possible future career areas, but don’t think you’ve got to do it all in one go.
Try generating career ideas through one of these methods to begin with:
- Self-awareness – assessing your preferences, interests and motivations
- Applying your degree subject knowledge
- Look at ‘live’ job vacancies
- Get a taste of working environments through work experience
- Hear from York graduates
It can be good to try more than one of these approaches, but depending on your preferences, you might be drawn to a particular one first. Just make sure that when you start you don’t try to do too much at once. Otherwise, you might find you have too much to think about and that can seem too daunting.
To find out more about each of these points, take a look at the Exploring ideas web page.
- Getting experience
If you’re in your first year, you don’t have to launch into internships straight away. Getting some part-time work or undertaking some volunteering can be a great way to start gaining some experience.
If you’re in your second/penultimate year, check out a couple of job sites that focus on internships, such as Gradcracker for STEM subjects or search for internships on sites like Prospects.
Later in the academic year (typically from Easter onwards), Student Internship Bureau project-based opportunities are advertised via Handshake. These are usually with York-based employers and offer the chance to work on a particular piece of work.
Final year and Masters students may want to build on their experience too, so need to search similar sources, while keeping in mind some internships may be only open to other year groups.
There’s more about getting experience and developing skills on our website.
- Job hunting or searching for further study
This can be a particularly time-consuming and lengthy process. As a result, it can feel a bit off-putting, but, again, ‘chunk-up’ the process to make it more manageable.
You could try this approach:
- Schedule a bit of time each week to work on your job / course hunting. It doesn’t have to be very long, but by scheduling a set time, it can help you focus and stay organised
- Choose two or three job sites (these might be general sites or ones specialising in certain job sectors) or study sites like FindAMasters.com, rather than trying to wade through lots
- Set up email/message alerts (most job/course sites offer this functionality). Alternatively, if the thought of yet more emails landing in your inbox is just too much, visit sites regularly and just run a couple of searches
- Set up ‘folders’ to save job adverts or course details to, so you can find them easily and also keep track of closing dates (where applicable)
More job sites for different types of work can be found on our Finding jobs pages. The Further study pages will help you through the process of finding and applying for Masters and PhDs.
Whatever stage you’re at, there’s support available. We’re here to help. We won’t try to persuade you into a career you don’t want and we certainly won’t judge!
So, if you’re not sure about next steps; are anxious about doing any of the things we’ve mentioned here; or could just do with a bit of a chat about careers-related ‘stuff’, then talk to us.
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