Studying at university is a great experience: you meet lots of people, have a great social life and you get to learn lots of skills that will prepare you for the “real world”. True, you also have to complete lots of coursework and have sleepless nights during exams, but all in all it is a very unique experience.
The challenge comes right after graduation: what do I do next?
Many graduates know exactly what they want to do after they completed their degree, especially when studying for very linear careers such as accounting or medicine; some even have already one or two jobs offers lined up. Other graduates are not so sure about what direction to take, which is very common when their degree is open to lots of different career paths, for example, Business Management, History or languages.
According to recent research, 52% of graduates in the UK work in an industry or career that is not directly related to their degree. Businesses are aware of this and are happy to hire all types of graduates because they know the value of their transferrable skills, but also, because having the right personality and attitude is the most important thing for most jobs.
What skills are employers looking for?
Regardless of the particular skills that you learned in relation to your degree, there are two skills that you have learned at university that will help you in the professional world: you know how to manage and be responsible for your own work and your own results, and you know how to socialise and network. These two skills can make the difference when in a working environment, and are key for some careers, such as recruitment.
At Whitehall, we are always looking for graduates who are interested in working in the recruitment industry. In fact, some of our Senior Consultants and Team Leads are graduates and have never looked back. We asked some of them about their experience and this is what they said:
Freedom to control your own work and earnings
“I studied Lighting and Sound at University. It sounded a fun and glamorous career, but it was actually a very repetitive job with no social life. It is a very linear career path, meaning I could not easily move to another branch, like finance or accounting. I made the jump into recruitment because no experience was needed, and the earning potential seemed much better. I am now a Senior Consultant and I have been transferred to the office in Frankfurt, where I am gaining international experience. Recruitment also feels like being back at uni – you have freedom to manage your own work and you get out what you put in, just instead of good grades you get a higher income.“
Great social life