In first year if someone talked to me about careers, I would brush it off. Two more years of university seemed to stretch way into the future; why would I want to mess with the student bubble by thinking about the prospect that it would end? Fast forward to third year and I’m feeling the pressure mounting to get a career plan. Walking around the jobs fair earlier this year bought the reality home, as I kept being told how Accountancy King would give me the best employee perks, whilst McLawnolds had the top pension plan. It all seemed pretty deep when I’d only really come for the free pens and sweets, and it got me thinking.
It’s easy to become scared – if you are not yet sorted with a clear career plan – that all the future consists of is sitting around in your underwear eating stale Doritos and watching reruns of Scrubs. The fact is that you can have a bright future without jumping straight into a career out of uni. Personally I’m planning to take a year out when I graduate to fly out to Australia, do a bit of work and travel. Then maybe a ski season somewhere else. Granted it’s straight out of the ‘gap yah’ handbook, but we students seem overly pressured to throw ourselves into a career at all costs. It seems pointless to push yourself onto a graduate scheme if your heart isn’t in it.
Of course, this could easily start to sound like the ravings of an ageing hippy, sticking it to the corporate machine and its ‘drones’ who have mortgages, steady jobs, and more than beans on toast to look forward to for dinner. If you do have a solid idea for what you want to do, or are a third year who already has it sorted, then good for you. But if you, like me, are a little unsure of what you want and think it might be a good idea not to jump onto a serious career path right out of uni then I salute you. Together, we can accomplish great things (with a little money borrowed from our employed friends). But in all seriousness, as long as you have motivation and are planning to do something then you may as well go for it, and only start harassing employers with endless CVs when you’re good and ready.
The jobs market isn’t great and you’re only this young and free once. Make the most of it. With that said, there is the lingering possibility (probability?) that graduate employers won’t want me even when I do apply. Maybe this whole column is just an exercise in futile self assurance and I am destined for the dole. Screw it, I’m off to buy some Doritos.