Some people say that finding a job is easy once you know what you want to do, but what if you’re not really sure? Searching for a job can be time-consuming and the best way to make the most of your time is to have a focus.
If you are starting your job search and are still not sure of what you are really looking for, here are seven questions that might help you work it out.
What is my unique value?
When people leave school or university it’s important to stand out. You want to be an essential part of the business you are working for, not someone who can replaced easily. So you need to focus on what’s different about you.
If you’ve had the foresight to undertake an internship then this could help you stand apart from other graduates, because you have a better understanding of how a business works. Or perhaps they are expanding their business in Spain and you speak excellent Spanish. These unique talents could help you stand out in a market where there are many people vying for the same job.
What motivates me?
You spend most of your time working so it’s important that you find a job that matches the things that you really enjoy, and for most this won’t be as obvious as a job related to the subject they’ve been studying.
Think about what you’ve enjoyed doing on your course as well as your extracurricular activities. A good way to decide where you strengths lie is to work out what your soft and hard skills are. From this list you can find out what you love doing and use it to shape your search.
What can I be flexible about?
It’s great to find things that you love doing, but most jobs won’t be perfect, and you might have to occasionally do things that you don’t enjoy. For example, you might have struggled with quadratic equations at school, but when it comes to work, you might understand the importance of a budget with a specific purpose or calculating profit.
Where do I ultimately want to be in my career?
It might be that you have an idea of what you want to do, but fewer clues about how to get there. Most of the time, there’s a path to get to your ultimate career goal and this probably means quite a bit of hard work along the way.
But one of the things that graduates often forget when looking for a job is to consider the bigger picture, and have a long-term plan. It’s better to take your time and find a career or graduate scheme that allows you to develop and learn new skills than take any job that’s on offer.
Where am I willing to move to?
Some people want to stay close to their friends and family whilst others are willing to relocate further away from home. People often think that there are only jobs in London, but with graduate schemes such as the one offered at Enterprise, there are positions that are available throughout the UK. They’re also expanding in Europe, so there may be opportunities in France or Spain as well.
What type of culture do I want to work within?
It’s not just the job that’s important, but also the kind of environment you want to work in. Some people relish the chance to take on responsibility from day one and progress quickly, whilst others are less comfortable in such a challenging environment.
You can get a good idea about what the company expects from their employers by looking at their websites, often there will be interviews from staff who work there.
Have I done all the necessary preparation to start my search?
Before you start searching and applying for jobs, you should take some time to prepare documents such as your CV and covering letter. Although these will need to be tailored to the jobs that you are applying for it’s good to have a template prepared.
Another thing to look at is your online profile. It’s important to update your LinkedIn profile and make sure that your personal social media pages won’t be viewed negatively by any recruiters.
Deciding what direction you want your career to take is not easy, especially because there are a whole range of graduate schemes out there that offer different advantages.
If you’re interested in management then you should consider our Graduate Management Trainee Scheme – it gives you the chance to explore all the different elements of management, from leading your own team to marketing for new customers. Find out more or apply now.