I get to know a lot of students through the courses I teach. Many students ask me for advice regarding their future careers: what should I do, what should I study, and so on.
I’ve had many students in their final year of university tell me they really don’t know what they want to do after they graduate. This leads me to thefollowing question: “What did you do during your years at university?”
Why do people study at university? Is it to gain knowledge about a particular subject? Is it so they can meet new friends? Is it so they can gain experience in their major? The simple answer to these questions is “No.” You don’t need to go to university to gain knowledge. There are a lot of places to meet new friends. There are better places to get experience. People study at university so that they can put it on their resume, hoping it will lead to a better job.
I understand that many students really don’t know what they want to do with their lives. I get that. I didn’t go to university immediately after graduating from high school simply because I had no idea what I wanted to study. However, since you’re studying at university with the intention of getting a better job, why not use your time at university to find out what you want to do?
The first step is to find out what you like to do or what you’re good at doing. If you don’t know, ask someone close to you (i.e. a friend or relative). Once you have that narrowed down, do some research.
Investigate which jobs or occupations use the skills that you’re good at. Once you know that, find courses that are related to that occupation. Take those courses. If you don’t like them, try something different. If you do like those courses, take more advanced courses.
By the time you are in your final year of university, you should know exactly what job you want when you graduate. Now you can spend your last year getting your dream job. Research companies that are well respected and offer positions that will allow you to do what you want to do. Reach out to HR managers and department managers in those companies. Ask them what you need to do or study in your final year to give them the qualifications they are looking for. Be proactive.
One more thing: many job positions are not advertised. If the company has the perfect candidate for a certain position when it becomes available, why should they advertise that position? Why does this matter to you? Well, if you can prove to the company in your last year of university that you have the skills and qualifications that they are looking for, you just might be the person they hire without having to advertise the available position.
Spend your years in university finding out exactly what job you want and what company you want to work for. Then spend your last year getting the job you want in the company you want. Working for a company you respect, and doing a job you like to do, is so much better than doing a job you hate or working for a company that you don’t respect. Trust me, I know from past experience!