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CAREERS: WHAT NEXT?

First, let’s shatter a few myths.

  1. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU VISIT THE CAREERS CENTRE. There – I’ve said it.  Part of our role is to support you in starting from scratch, deciding between several options or even just going away and reflecting on what’s best for you.
  2. We won’t laugh, gasp or throw up our hands in horror if you come up with a careers idea that seems a little off the wall, up in the air or out of left field.  Believe me, we have heard it all before and we can offer practical advice on turning a dream, however elusive, into reality. Anything is possible – although modifications may be needed along the way….
  3. No pressure. You don’t necessarily have to choose a ‘career’, let alone the ‘correct’ career.   You merely need to get the next step in place, with perhaps a Plan B hovering in case it’s needed.   A career is organic, open to modification and transformation, not something that can be selected only once and is either right or wrong.
  4. Apropos the last point, we would reckon that today’s graduates would have at least three separate careers (not just jobs) during their working lives.  That gives you plenty of leeway to explore and experiment. Given the pace of change in the labour market, you might even end up doing a job that doesn’t even exist yet.

Graduation is exciting, but for many it’s also pretty daunting. Not knowing what happens next is alarming at best, intimidating at worst. So how can we, in Careers, help you at this turning point?Once any student graduates, they can use the careers service and its facilities, for free, for up to three years. That includes attending events such as careers fairs and employer presentations as well as obtaining in depth guidance, not to mention the nuts and bolts stuff such as CV checks or advice on applications and interviews.

We are based in the Drysdale Building, Northampton Square in Room E125.  Feel free to book an appointment via Careershub to see a consultant: careershub.city.uk. If you have any difficulty accessing Careershub, you can contact us via email: careers@city.ac.uk  or on 020 7 040 8093.  Yes, we are here throughout the summer, although not at weekends or before 9am /after 5pm.

We’re friendly, we’re knowledgeable and we’re keen to help.  What’s not to like?

We look forward to seeing you and working towards your future together.

Gill Sharp, Freelance Careers Consultant

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Careers in Technology Week 2016 is just round the corner. Get ready…

careers-in-tech-posterAll next week (7th-11th November) we have a series of events all related to Careers in the Technology sector. Which ones are a good fit for you?

If you’re wondering what’s expected of you as a tech student candidate

If you are researching your tech career options and even a bit unclear about what’s on offer or what direction the sector is going in

If you want to meet some real life tech professionals and hear things directly from them

If you know which tech careers you want to target but are now trying to get through the recruitment processes 

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Why knowing the current trends in the industries you want to work in can give you a competitive edge

commercial awarenessA frequently mentioned part of what employers want from you as a student or graduate candidate is your commercial awareness. You’ll find many definitions of what “commercial awareness” means and I’ll add another definition now. In a nutshell it’s “what’s going on right now” in the sector/company/environment. Knowing where to start to acquire this knowledge can be mesmerising (damn internet!) but here’s some ideas from the perspective of the IT sector:

  • Blog articles like this one entitled “25 big tech predictions for 2016” – some of the info is particular to the United States but the points on internet connected cars, the oil and gas industry using the Internet of Things to increase revenues and small businesses greatly increasing their use of payment apps caught my attention.
  • Major professional services businesses like Deloitte often produce annual summaries of what they see as major trends in particular sectors. You can read their 2016 predictions for the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) sectors here. You know they are worth reading as these professional services companies get their information from clients that are major players in this sector means this information can be read with a good degree of trust.
  • Gartner is an American marketing, market research and advisory firm providing information technology insights targeted at CIOs and senior IT leaders in industries that include government agencies, high-tech and telecom enterprises, professional services firms, and technology investors. You can read about their “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016” here.

What’s the competitive edge for you as a job candidate? Firstly it will help you answer any questions you get in interview about whats currently happening in the sector. Secondly it could give you an idea of where to target your own job search. Growth areas more often than not need more people to work in them. And that can include placement students and soon to be graduates.

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Guest Blog Post: Creative Fair

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Start-up at Scale – The New Mould

Only shooting stars break the mould. It may be 15 years since Smash Mouth penned those words, but the sentiment is one that has stood the test of time. The modern equivalent might be something like: go hard or go home. In start-up land you most definitely have to go hard; and since the second year of university going home has not been an option for Eoin and I. Simultaneous studies and paid work leave little room for creativity, but if you are committed to breaking the mould, then you find a way.

Creative Fair was born out of a need for us to take control. Research released earlier this year showed that the creative industries are worth £71.4 billion/year in the UK alone. One breakdown gave this as being equivalent to £8 million/hour. It also showed that the sector accounted for 1.86 million jobs in 2012 or 5.6% of all employment.

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Women students! Build your self-confidence with the Sprint London Programme for Female Undergrads and Postgrads!

wonder-woman1Do you often feel your voice is not heard and that others seem more confident?

Do you constantly kick yourself for not being more assertive?

Perhaps you  lack confidence in your own skills, with a poor sense of career direction?

The Sprint Programme is a fantastic opportunity for women undergraduates and postgraduates from all backgrounds, ages and stages in their lives and studies, regardless of their subject or career aspirations, to take hold of their personal development and achieve their ambitions. It is not too late to apply – with the deadline being this Sunday 6 July and you only need to submit a brief application – no more than 2500 characters, that’s characters, not words. About 30 lines will do or even less. That’s very little!

Across 4 action packed days, the programme covers a range of key development topics, with the aim help you to:

  • use your personal power and influence
  • identify your values, attitudes and direction
  • manage your time effectively Continue Reading
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Last chance to apply for Summer Graduate Bootcamp on 10 June

Boost your confidence, clarify your sense of career direction and get tips on jobhunting and interview technique on Tuesday 10 June at the Summer Bootcamp for Graduates from 9am – 3pm. It’s not as daunting as it sounds! but is a chance to learn, share exeprience and to get your questions answered. Plus… a free lunch! To find out more about the content of the day and to sign up go to Continue Reading

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If I were 22…borrowing benefits of hindsight

If I were 22Not sure about the grammar involved (shouldn’t that be “I was”?) but give yourself a present and spend some time reading through the LinkedIn page If I were 22. It’s full of personal stories from people that have been there and done it in their careers passing on the benefit of their hindsight. Lots of different careers represented. Lots of different perspectives. None of them are the answer or the truth but I’m sure you’ll find some nuggets that feel right for you.

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Making the Most of Your Student Guide

A guest blog post from The Lex 100

The internet brings good tidings: you are, at any point, exactly one “How to… law” Google search away from an embarrassment of information riches on how to ground and grow your legal career. To add to that, you can also count on student guides to law for overviews and peer to peer reviews of the training contracts of particular firms.

Because we kphotonow it can be difficult to filter through all the facts and figures that student guides have to offer, we’ve put together a list of five key points we think will help you research even more efficiently:

1)      Says who?  We get everyone’s input when we’re in a spot, but we generally only take advice from people we trust. Conversely, always look into where a guide’s coming from and how it got its information, and make sure that what you’re reading came from sources and through methods you find both convincing and reliable.

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Guest Blog: Inside Careers talking “Life as an Actuary”

67729_10151261907809404_107931780_nWhat is an actuary?

As defined by Charles Young, a Consulting Actuary at Hymans Robertson: ‘Actuaries analyse past and present data to solve real business problems. A lot of actuaries’ work is about risk management: assessing how likely an event may be and the costs associated with it. Actuaries predict and measure emerging risks and then help to reduce them, putting financial safeguards in place.’

Areas of work

There are many areas in which you can work as an actuary including: consultancy, investment, insurance and pensions. If you are unsure which is best suited to you, check out our Areas of Work articles which explore the traditional and emerging areas in which actuaries operate. In your application, you may need to show employers what attracted you to work in that particular business area, so it is worth doing your research!

Skills needed to become an actuary

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Second Round of City’s professional Mentoring Scheme Now Open

Just thought I would do a bit of promo for our Professional Mentoring Scheme.  This year, due to its success, we are able to offer an additional 200 places, so have  have doubled the reach of the programme. An additional 200 places are available NOW.  A student I  was chatting to  last week described it as the most valuable extracurricular activity he had undertaken at City.  What greater recommendation could there be?! You will be partnered to a mentor for a 6 month period, but the time commitment is not onerous in any way. The closing date for applications is 24 January 2014, but early applications are preferred and advisable as it is a competitive scheme.

3 weeks on some of our mentees are already seeing the benefits “I’ve just come back from my first meeting with my mentor and I’m already feeling so positive!  I’ve got uni work coming out of my ears (as per usual), but rather than feeling typically stressed, I’m finding heaps of motivation to JUST GET ON WITH IT.  I think this is because I’m far less worried about the direction of my future, and can focus on getting things done in the present!  I’m don’t feel as lost as I had done before, which is not what I was expecting so soon into the programme 3rd Year International politics student Continue Reading