Graduating University During Covid? 5 Essential Career Tips
Transitioning from university into a working world is challenging.
While it might herald the beginning of an independent life and a new career, the current COVID-19 situation has brought significant changes.
Research conducted by Milkround indicated that only 18% of graduates are likely to secure jobs in this period than the usual 60%.
How can you establish yourself after graduating? Here are some helpful tips to consider.
1. Create a budget
Graduation might be the beginning of your financial independence, and what better way to kick-start it than budgeting?
It gives you control over your finances and prevents overspending.
Whether you’re new to or have experience in budgeting, you may want to list out the things you need, especially now that some expenses will change.
For instance, you need to factor in rent, work attire purchase, and exclude textbook fees. Also, it will be best to allocate the required amount for every expense to determine how much to put aside for it.
2. Get yourself a mentor
Mentors are people you look up to and experienced in the career you want to pursue.
You can find a mentor on LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, at events. Start talking to more people and grow your network.
There are also dedicated mentoring platforms like PushFar that connect you with a respectful mentor who has the practical skills you want to learn. The great thing about PushFar is that you can learn directly from people who have done what you want to do, so it’s an excellent way to learn quicker.
You may want to partner with your professor or lecturer in your university, a family member, or a friend in the same field you desire. Also, to get the most out of your mentors, you should ask specific questions and apply their counsel to your life and career.
Mentors can give you in-depth information about various career options. Besides, they offer financial guidance, role modeling, and the motivation you need to face after-school life head-on.
3. Invest in a professional training
Not all practical skills can be learned in universities. You’ll continuously learn at a job. During your first work placement, you should learn as much as you can.
There are employers, who invest in vocational training – this is great!
But, generally, as an individual/employee you shouldn’t rely only on your employer for your professional and individual development.
Continuous learning should expand your horizons beyond your current job at hand and set you up for potential career shifts, which are likely to happen.
My point is: Your professional development isn’t your employer’s responsibility. It is your responsibility.
If you are a woman looking to progress into a management or leadership position, explore a leadership programme at Oxford Women’s Leadership Development Programme Get Smarter.
Learn the practical skills to thrive in a leadership role as a woman, even within a male-dominated industry.
4. Take advantage of job fairs
While you’re browsing the best websites to find jobs for graduates, you may also want to attend job fairs.
They present an opportunity to meet with potential employers and form meaningful connections.
You can also practice for your interviews and get information about various industries and recent job openings.
It will be prudent for you to attend job fairs hosted by your school or private companies, especially those related to your chosen industry.
You can also take advantage of virtual job fairs when you hear about recent job openings.
5. Prepare an emergency fund
Life is full of uncertainties, and it’s better to be prepared than sorry.
I would recommend saving 20-50% of your income as soon as you start earning money.
In the last 2 years, I’ve been saving 50% of my monthly income. This has been possible because of multiplying my streams of income (employment, blogging, freelance writing, and consulting), and paying myself first.
By “paying myself first” I mean that on a payday I immediately transfer 50% of my income straight into my savings account, as opposed to saving what is leftover from spending. This strategy limits my monthly spending money and forces me to be mindful.
It will help to create a particular account and put in a certain amount of money each month. You can also put in any free cash to build your fund.
6. Create a student loan repayment plan
If you took student loans during your university period, you might want to create a plan to help you settle them.
While they have lower interest rates, not paying up on time can affect your finances in the long run.
Fortunately, Government-initiated student loan repayment options can make payments more flexible, and you should seek information to determine the best option for you.
Life after school might be intimidating, but you don’t have to be scared of it.
Hopefully, these tips will help you transition easily from university life to adult life.