A common question we are asked by final year students in our Quick Queries is "its not too late for me to get a job, is it?". This is a totally understandable question to ask and one that indicates that many students are feeling anxious about their future, after graduation. The transition from being a student to worker is scary and means dealing with a lot of change (moving cities, forming new friendships, finding a new place to live etc) Not to mention if you are unsure of what you want to do or need to embark on the process of job hunting, it can all feel like it is too much.
Before going any further, I want to be clear, it is not too late to find a job! On MyFuture, (the careers service's vacancy database), we have nearly 700 active opportunities. You may find that some organisations that interest you are not recruiting at the moment, for example some graduate opportunities follow specific recruitment cycles. This however doesn't mean you've missed the boat....
It is important to approach career planning in small steps - if you are unsure of what you want to do then focus on exploring ideas or simply updating your CV may give you the feeling that you are moving in the right direction. Think of where you'd like to be in the next 12-24 months as opposed to determining your final career.
If you are finding that the anxiety of not knowing what you want to do or looking for work is affecting you, then do consider the tips below:
- Get things in perspective. What you are feeling is very common – you’re not alone!
- Be kind to yourself and don’t compare yourself negatively with your peers.
- Set realistic targets with small steps you can take towards finding a graduate role. Steps could include seeing a careers adviser, connecting with Bath alumni via Bath Connection or LinkedIN or checking out opportunities on MyFuture.
Finally, don't be afraid to talk about your worries and look out for the signs of anxiety that go beyond normal worries. According to Mind, "If you've been feeling anxious in a way that's stopping you from doing the things you would normally do, if you're not socialising, and if you've been feeling that way for more than just a couple of bad days – that's the point when you might want to see somebody". The Residential Life and Wellbeing Service Advisers at Bath give students help and advice on all welfare and wellbeing issues. They run daily drop-in sessions on campus.
Don't forget you can carry on using us after you graduate http://www.bath.ac.uk/students/careers/graduates/index.html.