To assist with your quest to find a job, we wanted to share guidance from Viktoria Galitsi, an established career coach, with over 11 years of living and working in London, and now based in Milan. Now you have reached the end of your University studies, Viktoria is here to help you decide what to do next…

So it’s been a bit of a weird academic year, and you might not have received the graduation you wanted, but are you going to throw away all that effort you poured into your degree? No!!! Certainly not - the job market has always been a difficult and vicissitudinous beast to enter into, so there is no reason for you not to rise up to the challenge and score that graduate job… even if it begins with you skyping your new boss from your sofa, in a shirt and pyjama bottoms!  



Step 1. Know Your Options

Consider the most common options that graduates take after completing their final year:

  • Master’s Course

Can’t get enough of studying? Postpone your entry into the corporate world by remaining at university and doing a course that offers greater independence than your degree. This is a nice idea for those truly passionate about their subject or graduates who took a degree for pleasure, and now need a more business-orientated qualification to boost their employability. 

  • Gap Year

A well-deserved break from studying and concentrating. Doing some travelling might help you mentally disconnect after years of dedication and focus. Alternatively, just being cared for at home for a while and touching base with your family is also a respectable and healthy post-degree plan. 

Internship - if you’re unsure about whether you are going to enjoy a specific role, an internship is a great way to test the water. You are only signing up for 6 months, so if you hate the experience, you have an escape route planned. This is still a great way to gain valuable new skills and business knowledge without committing to a company and still earn a little on the side. 

  • Graduate Scheme

If the sudden, unfamiliar prospect of freedom freaks you out, sign up for a graduate scheme. They usually last around 2 years and give you the chance to spend several months in various positions so that you can work out what positions you enjoy the most. 

  • Graduate Job

Why not take the plunge and bag an entry-level job? Perhaps you want to dive straight into the corporate world, get earning, and enjoy finally having weekends work-free. 

I’m sure you already have an idea about which of these options call out to you, but, before you commit to one, let’s do a bit of self-reflection to make sure you choose what is right for you. 

Step 2. State of Flow

The next thing I'd like you to do is to think about is what you enjoy doing. Think about things that really engage you, things that when you do them, you lose track of time and feel full of energy. This is called a state of flow.

Take a moment here and think what activities put you in that state?

Think also about your strengths - what are you naturally good at? Maybe you are a good problem solver or an amazing negotiator. When you think about the activities that put you in a state of flow, some of your strengths will arise. So pay close attention as to what is going to come out of this exercise. 

It's also a good idea to think about your personality and what type of work and work environment would suit you best. For example, if you are a very extroverted person, then choosing a profession that requires minimum to no interaction wouldn't be the best option for you. Think about the surroundings and situations that you thrive in when you are at your best. 

It's important that you get very clear about what your values are, what you believe in, what types of things and activities you enjoy and what your main strengths and personality traits are. Use these as a guide throughout your journey and test everything that you go through with these measures.

Step 3. Decide What Kind of Environment Best Suits You

Now you know what kinds of things you can do next, you can see what will best suit your personality and desired lifestyle.   

If you’re interested in the last 3 options given in Step 1, think about the kind of working environment that suits you best. Do you want to go into a small horizontally organised start-up where your role can vary from week to week, or do you prefer entering into the well-established hierarchy of a large multinational company? 

Compare pros and cons here. 

Step 4. Your Values and Beliefs

The next thing that I'd like you to think about when you are choosing what to do next is your values and beliefs. What is important to you in both work and life

For you to be happy with the work that you do, your values have to be taken into account too. For example, if one of the things that you believe in and feel very passionate about is sustainability, clean energy and zero waste but you work in an oil company, then there is a clear mismatch and that will create an internal conflict and could lead to unhappiness in your life and career. 

Make sure you are very clear about what you believe in, what your values are and when you are looking for a job, make sure the job and the company you choose is aligned with these. This will make your application process much easier, as you will be able to relate and stand out from other candidates.

Step 5. Personal Branding

Personal branding is talked a lot about now and for a good reason. To stand out in a very competitive job market, you need to have a strong personal brand. Your personal brand is not defined by a font type or a logo that you choose for your website, as Jeff Bezos said: "Personal brand is what people think of you when you leave the room". 
What kind of impression do you want to give to prospective employers when you leave the room?

A - Do you want them to think that you are the best candidate they have ever met? Someone who is passionate about what they do with key industry knowledge and commercial awareness? 


B - Do you want them to think that you are just “another candidate”?

Your personal brand translates into everything that you do; what you say, how you say it, what you post and where and your personal beliefs and your values too. This is why we talked about your values and beliefs earlier because they are also a part of your personal brand. 

Your interests are a key part of your personal brand. If you want to build a successful, fulfilling career that brings you growth and income, you need to choose something that you enjoy doing and have a genuine interest in.

If you just want a 9-5 job, and at 5 pm you switch off and don't want to read or learn anything about the industry, unfortunately, for you, this approach doesn't work anymore! We used to be in the candidate-driven market before COVID-19, and now we are in the company-driven market. This means that the competition is high and companies have a large pool of candidates to choose from. 

For you to stand out in this competitive job market, you need to make sure that you are doing all these things that go above just sending your resume to an employer. From learning new things that are relevant to your field to publishing articles, creating portfolios and networking. Doing all of these extra-curricular activities will help you to build a strong personal brand. And you can't do this if you don’t enjoy what you do. 

Step 6. The Current Job Market 

Lastly, the current job market, what is expected and what you can do right now to get the best results in your job search. However, you can be smug at the fact that you are in a much better position than last year’s graduates as society is beginning to see the light at the end of the covid tunnel. 

As I mentioned before, the current job market is extremely competitive and although we are still dealing with difficult times, it doesn’t mean that companies aren’t hiring. There are plenty of companies that have quickly adapted, and now continue to grow and hire despite all that has happened. Employers are reacting intelligently to issues and a new category of “future proof jobs” is even emerging. Germany’s economy has withstood the threats of the pandemic particularly well, and is currently obliging employees to work in the comfort of their own home, so this might be a first destination to consider - there are many jobs in Germany available with languages. 

The main industries that flourished during the pandemic pandemonium and that you might want to consider entering into are:

  • Home improvement 
  • Social platforms 
  • Entertainment platforms 
  • Educational platforms
  • Food and beverages services
  • Delivery services
  • Beauty industry

If you are thinking that you shouldn't be looking for a job now because of the situation, then you are wrong! If anything, with employers having to be more flexible and companies reinventing the way in which they work. now is the best time to start networking and trying new things out to benefit your future career.

When you leave university it’s ok to not know what exactly you want to do. What is important, however, is to get to know yourself; realise what you liked and disliked about your degree, the spaces in which you feel comfortable performing to the best of your ability, and the sectors that align with your values and give you a sense of pride to work in them. 

Of course, as individuals, we grow, develop, and change and so do our interests, priorities, and needs. In years to come, you might decide that you don't want to do what you are doing right now and that’s fine. 

But you won’t know what you want to do until you try it. So before you choose which career to go into, it’s important to try different career-related things out. Don’t worry, everything you need to know as a graduate will be covered over the next 2 weeks!

If you want to practice the blog's advice, check out the task we've prepared for you, and don't forget to mark it as done afterwards!