FAQs: But what if ...

... I don't know what I want to do

You don't need to know what you want to do to take some really useful first steps in your career, including getting a good job. The big secret is that many people don't know what they want to do until they've had a go at a few different jobs.

Don’t feel pressure to know exactly what you want to do after university. A good starting point is reflecting on your previous experiences and heading in the direction of the ones you enjoyed. If none of the experiences you had sound appealing to you, try attending careers fairs and employer events where you can speak to a variety of employers and find out what they do.

... I don't feel confident about my next steps?

Whether you can't decide on your next steps, or you are not sure whether it is the right fit for you, the Careers Service can help. By booking a careers guidance appointment, you will be able to talk through your ideas with a Careers Consultant who can help you understand the options available to you and feel more confident about applying or starting them.

If you have concerns, look through the career concerns and confidence pages for practical advice.

... I really need to focus on getting a good degree right now?

We completely understand that your studies will be a priority! However, when you have spare time, we recommend getting ahead of the competition. Apply early to jobs courses and other opportunities. Just getting ahead of the competition by a couple of weeks could make all the difference to your chances of landing a good job soon after you graduate.

You can also take a few shortcuts:

  • If you're short on time, focus on a few opportunities that interest you most and make good tailored applications, rather than sending out the same application to lots of jobs (that rarely works).
  • Talking to an employer at an event can take less time than researching that employer on the internet and give you better inside information for an application.

... I want to take time out or go travelling?

It’s good to take a break and prioritise your personal goals, just be careful that you do not overly procrastinate on planning for your next steps! Try to set yourself some concrete goals and make some firm plans - "taking time out" can easily turn into months of just stacking shelves. By planning carefully, you wil build skills and experiences that can translate to a graduate job on your return.
Get as much help as you can before you graduate. As a student, you have easy access to support and events to help you decide what you want and to find a job. When you graduate, these are harder to access, or may no longer be available to you. However, remember that you can continue to use the Careers Service for up to two years after you complete your course.
You can look into international career options, remote job opportunities that allow you to work abroad, or meet global alumni to find out more!
If you're planning to go travelling, plan your return. What new experiences will you be able to talk about? Do you plan on volunteering? Will you get back just after recruiters have filled their jobs or courses for another year? Can you apply for jobs online, wherever you are in the world?

... I want to work abroad?

If you want to work abroad, first you will need to consider what sector you want to work in, where you want to go and what the experience will be like. You need to think about whether you speak the language, consider local customs and decide whether you are looking for a big city or a rural location. The international jobs page also has information to help you find jobs abroad.

... I'm an international student and want to work in the UK?

Our international pages have lots of advice to help you find work in the UK. This includes Visas, job search strategies and events.
We also have lots of blog articles by international graduates on their experiences of finding work in the UK. For example:

... I don't want a boss - I want to work for myself?

Use your final year to pick up as much advice, support and as many contacts as you can: Use LinkedIn. Talk to other entrepreneurs. Find a mentor. Learn as much about business and finance as you can.

Not sure whether you're ready yet or you have significant gaps in skills, knowledge, experience - or funding? One strategic solution is to find a job for a year or two with the right training, potential or salary to help you plug those gaps - then go for self-employment.

See more on our enterprise pages and the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre Resource Centre.

... I want to apply for further study?

If you are considering further study, you will need to think about what course or topic you want to study, where you want to go or who your supervisor will be, and what funding you will need.

The considering further study pages can help you find opportunities, prepare for postgraduate study and give you advice for making a good application.