June 8, 2022, by Leah Sharpe
Entering the Job Market in Difficult Times
By Laura De Simoni, PhD English graduate
After years of hard work, you finally finished your graduate studies…congratulations! Now it’s time to enter the job market, but the after effects of the pandemic are still very much here. While it can be daunting to apply for jobs in such challenging times, knowing your skillset will make a huge difference when looking for your first role.
Find your path
The first thing you will need to think about as you graduate is what area you would like to work in and in what types of roles. If you are an Arts and Humanities graduate the world is your oyster! You could work in the third sector or in the corporate world, you could stay within the university as a lecturer or in an administrative role, or you could work for the government, etc. The only limit is your imagination! This infinite range of choice can be as exciting as overwhelming. It is hard imagining what it would be like to work in a specific role and deciding what is the best fit for your skills and passions.
Here’s what worked for me:
1. Attend Careers events
These events showcased the career paths of recent Nottingham graduates. Hearing alumni describe the ins-and-outs of their jobs across various sectors made it easier to decipher words like ‘account manager’ or ‘business developer’ in job offers and realise which roles aligned with my expectations. Check out the events page of the Careers website to find out when the next session is happening!
2. Understanding my strengths and interests
There are several online tools you can use to assess your strengths, which will help you gain self-awareness about what you love to do and what you are good at. By knowing more about your strengths, you can understand what motivates you, and make informed choices about your career journey. As advised by the Careers team, I used the Strengths Profile website to take my test and had a very useful follow-up with a member of the team to talk through my results. I then began applying for roles that would match my strengths.
Applying for Jobs
The time you spend figuring out your strengths will pay off when you actively begin looking for jobs. Knowing what you are good at means that you can be strategic about the roles you are targeting, and that you will not spend your energies applying for offers that may not be aligned to your interests. In the post-pandemic world, competition for jobs is fierce, but knowing what you have to offer in a very concrete way, will give you an edge over applicants who may not be as self-aware. Be confident about your potential and the right opportunity will not pass you by!
If you’re worried about the job market, explore the Careers resources and discover the support you can get.
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