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Career Decisions: How to overcome common graduate thoughts and fears

It is often easy to think that we are alone in our quest to build a career. However, more often than not our peers have the same thoughts about their career direction and they are the best resource for a holistic understanding of the industry you work in. Career Discussions is a series which candidates can speak about their career journeys and provide advice to others within your industry.

6 common thoughts graduates have:

1.  My CV isn’t good enough

This is the most common fear most graduates have because most are unsure what to include or think that they lack experience. The best way to combat this is by adding things that show you have developed some skills; this is not always as a result of full-time work or internships and may, in fact, include unpaid volunteer work. No matter what experience you possess, you can use action words to show the skills that you have developed and ensure that all spelling and grammar is correct as part of the overall presentation of your CV.

2.  I’m not very good in interviews

The second most common concern is that candidates feel that they will not do well at interviews. This is most common amongst people that have little or no professional experience and they feel like they are going in blind. But preparation and practice are key. Ensure that you research the company and the role before your interview and have plenty of practice. The final tip is too always ask a question at the end, this shows that you are interested in finding out more and are aware of what you do not already know.

3. I’m not enjoying my current role

Most graduates are afraid to admit that they are not enjoying their current role especially with the stigma of ‘being an entitled millennial’. But often graduates have ended up in roles that they do not enjoy as they left university with little career direction and took a job without much knowledge about the variety of jobs that are out there or merely taking the first job that was offered out of fear that you might never find a job. But despite not enjoying your current role, it is a good indicator of what you enjoy and a great way to build up commercial experience.

4. Others people are way ahead of me and have everything figured out

It is easy to look at others when you are unsure about what direction you are heading in. With most graduates securing full-time positions before finishing university, it is easy to feel left behind. However, there is always time to figure things out and you can change direction at any point during your career.

5. I have no idea where they are heading career wise

It is difficult at any point after leaving university to work out the direction you would like to head in. At different points in your career, it is difficult to answer the question about where your career is heading. However, the easiest way is to take a step back and consider what you enjoy, why and what skills you possess. This is a good starting point to help you identify what roles may be a good match for your skills and interest.

6.  I know what I want and I can’t find it

In contrast to the point above, some people know exactly what their dream role is and just have no idea how to get there. But if this is your dilemma it is worth taking a step back and thinking about what skills will get you there while you wait for the perfect role. Also, it is worth reaching out to any person you come across that works in that role or industry and see what advice they can give you. Finally, it is worth speaking to recruiters and seeing if they work on positions like the one you are looking for.

If you identify with any of the points raised above then Freshminds are here to help you. We are introducing Career Decisions each month. This will give you an opportunity to book sessions to discuss your CV and career so far. Also, if there are any roles that are of relevant we will discuss that with you during the session. It is also a time for you to provide any tips or tricks that you have found during your career or advice you would like to provide to other graduates.

The first session will be held on Thursday 1st November between 3.30pm-6pm. You can book a slot by emailing your updated CV to joy.victor@freshminds.co.uk and requesting a preferred time slot. 

Alternatively, if you are an experienced professional that can give advice please feel free to get in touch.