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What’s holding you back?

Here in the Careers Service, we see a lot of people who are starting out on their career, but we also see older people who are career changers who have come to City to do a course that will change their career direction. Whatever stage you are at, here is an interesting article that was featured in The Guardian about what sort sort of things can hold people back in the career – and what you can do about it. There are some useful tips! Challenge yourself to make a change – do something differently!

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Jingle Bell Slog: What Uni Students Should Be Thinking About This Holiday

You’re not in Kansas – or kindergarten – anymore. Gone are the days of festive wordsearches and early home-times. And whatever your schoolteachers proffered, you can bet that stern professor isn’t going to be loading Balto into the lecture theatre projector.

But what when the last class shudders to a halt and the mass exodus begins from City campus? Sorry folks; you’re still a full-fledged uni student, and you need to approach your holidays like one.

Here’s what the grown-ups among you should be thinking about this Christmas.

 

Work

Gosh. But it’s Christmas. Right? Nobody works at Christmas.

Tell that to the half million small-to-medium business owners who’ll be working every day this holiday – or the hospitality employees who’ll be averaging five hours sleep. Let’s get one thing straight: being a student is not hard labour, or at least not compared to those who live and work in the real world. So no martyr acts here, please.

Sure, everyone needs a break over Christmas. But if you’re planning on wasting every day on Netflix, you’re making a classic undergrad mistake. In January, the motivated people on your course will return to class with a head start, simply because they could be bothered to do something – anything – over vac. And it’s them, not you, who’ll be scoring Firsts come summer.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an hour a day or six. Over the course of this extensive uni vac, it shouldn’t be hard to save time for your academics.

 

Apply

“Oh my god! I missed the deadline for McKinsey/Lloyds/Lidl last week!” No crap, Columbo. In fact, in all the excitement of presents and trees and reindeer, you probably missed all the others too.

October through December is prime student recruitment time. All the big companies – i.e. the ones you want to work at – use this period to seek out candidates. Looking for a CV-boosting placement this summer? Leave things until January and nobody will want you anymore.

Whether you’re looking for something cool or something well-paid, you’re doing yourself no favours missing these deadlines. Apply, apply, apply – before it’s too late.

 

Self-nurture

Okay, Christmas probably isn’t the time to go on a no-carb diet. But those precious weeks at home may be your perfect chance to make use of the family cross-trainer, or get on top of that sugar addiction, or read that book you’ve been eyeing for ages.

Thinking about starting an exercise regime? Now’s the time. Improved fitness not only affects your physical health but your mental wellbeing – essential in the run-up to exams. Fit individuals also see a hike in cognitive functions and concentration. Or maybe you’d rather learn to cook – a student essential.

Whatever it is, use your Christmas holidays logically. If you can’t find time for personal pursuits now, God knows you won’t back in halls.

 

Think

No, we don’t mean academics.

The sad fact about uni is that it’s finite. In three years/two years/one measly set of six months, you’ll be cast from the warm hearth of full-time education and expected to make your way in the big, wide world. And, whatever it’s taught you, your degree won’t have prepared you for true, working independence. Just ask the 58% of graduates stuck in non-graduate jobs.

Being ready for the world of work is not about good grades. It’s about fostering resilience, developing business naus, managing expectations and understanding office politics. Most of all, it’s about deciding what you want to do with your life – something surprisingly few students have done by the time they graduate.

If you’re in your first couple of years, think about how you can maximise your employability over the next couple of years. If you’re a finalist, use this last pre-finals rest – because we all know Easter will be hairy – to seriously consider your options.

You won’t be a student forever. Plan accordingly. Through the haze of mulled wine and turkey, you can be sure that summer is coming.

 

Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs London, visit their website.

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Guest Blog Post: Kick-starting your international career

*This is a guest blog post from Ruth Summers, British Council on the topic of international careers*

The world is changing and becoming increasingly interconnected with cultural dexterity and awareness becoming a much desired skill set for those sought after international graduate opportunities.

In a recent study conducted by the European Commission 64 per cent of businesses stated that international experience would make a candidate more employable. For us, the message is quite clear: international experience; be it though working, studying, volunteering or pretty much in any other capacity is a guaranteed way to enhance your job prospects as a UK grad.

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Building your future?

I wanted to wish new and returning students plus our recent graduates a very, very warm welcome to the new Acedmic Year 2014-15. This year we have a new offering which are our Career Lounges. These will be running three times a week. Check these out as well as our Careers Workshops. All sessions are practical to help you hone your skills, not just information lead.

Building your future and preparing yourself

Careers Workshops – help with:
• Searching for internships and graduate jobs
• Cvs and applications
• Gaining an edge in the job market
• Interview technique

Ready for work

Careers Lounges (new) – help with:
• cvs and applications
• Employer recruitment & selection

Book now! Before places get taken!

Best Wishes,

Marlon Gray (Senior Careers Consultant)

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Buzz word of 2014: Global mobility

how_to_find_a_job_abroad

According to Forbes, Global mobility is on the rise, and many employees want a passport filled with foreign-nation stamps to bolster personal growth and career development. Increasingly, they’re seeking expatriate, commuter, rotational or other alternative assignments to build their resumes. International assignments are a great career development tool and, at the same time, help organizations address talent shortages & close skill gaps.

In other words, if you haven`t yet thought about working internationally or relocating, this is something you may want to consider.

Detailed information about working in particular countries within European Union: http://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/working-abroad

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Feeling like an ostrich in the run up to Xmas?

I don’t know about you but I’m knackered. A heck of  a lot of very worthwhile but intense careers one-to-ones make this careers adviser a tired one. And already gazing towards the end of this week with longing. The temptation to down tools and switch off is great. That includes looking forward to activities in 2014. But this article can only make you think again. Yes, they’re talking about losing weight and monitoring your bank balance but it’s a subject not too far away from assessing your progress with your job hunt whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate job hunter.

So my challenge to you is this. Continue Reading

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Networking – “Is emailing an effective networking tool?”

Networking is useful when you are looking to get information beyond what’s written (e.g. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the employer’s website). It can also be utilise to promote you to employers and may lead onto work experience then potentially to a graduate opportunity. It is in essence a tool for tapping into a hidden job market.

Often when I speak to students …………… Continue Reading

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10 reasons why the autumn term is the greatest time ever

Buying textbooks…again. Choosing modules…again. Hating your timetable…again. Steadily rising number of coffees per day…again. Steadily rising number of hours spent in the library…again. Dreading deadlines and all-nighters…again. Looking for your warm jacket in the depths of your closet…again. Getting up before 10 (or even worse, 9!) in the morning…again. We could go on, couldn’t we?

The autumn term is about to start and we completely understand that you may find it a little difficult to switch from a summer mode to study mode…again. So, to ease your pain, I compiled a list of 10 reasons why, after all, the autumn term does not have to be so bad. Even better, 10 reasons why this autumn term can prove enjoyable!

  1. There are exciting Welcome Week careers events coming up…open to all, Freshers and non-Freshers are welcome to come along! Photobooth, Earn while you learn sessions (useful in case your finances post-summer need a bit of help…) and Lunch with Careers sessions – yes, free lunch every day, all week…plus you get a chance to meet us!
  2. Available on our web pages, there will be a brand new video giving you all the know how when it comes to booking in for events, searching for job and work experience opportunities and getting involved in various on-campus initiatives designed to equip you with top employability skills.
  3. Career Fairs are back – Banking, Finance & Consultancy Fair on 2nd October, Engineering, Science & Technology Fair on 9th October and, finally, the Law Fair on 16th October – come and meet all those employers who have been looking forward to meeting you! Continue Reading
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August: Endings and new beginnings in the Snapshot world

August. Not just the last Summer month of the year, but also the last month on the Scheme for our lovely Snapshotters.

As we approach the end of the programme, we looked back at the experiences we have had throughout the year: the challenges, the games, the new friends.

As a picture is worth a 1000 words (and our space here is limited), I want tell a short story of Snapshot “Class of 2013” in pictures:

It was all a bit awkward at first – so many unfamiliar faces …

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The early bird catches the worm! – For new final year students in the coming autumn term.

Often when you talk with employers they talk about those students who get organised early in terms of researching and focusing on their graduate opportunities.

Employers often have an expectation that the graduates they want (the pro-active current students) will be researching and looking to apply early for graduate schemes.

You may ask what is early? Well, if Continue Reading