To make a good career choice, you need:
- A clear understanding of yourself: skills, hopes, ambitions, personality and limitations
- A good understanding of the range of career routes available
- The ability to match your skills with the opportunities out there
- Awareness of your circumstances, including debt and family pressures
Accurate self-assessment is essential in creating a convincing CV, handling job applications and interviewing well.
It's all about the experience
Everyone needs to start somewhere, so don't expect to walk straight into a management role, no matter how good your qualifications. Be prepared to work your way up the ladder and never miss the chance to chat to colleagues and learn from them about the different opportunities on offer.
If you're not having much luck getting into the role you want, work experience and temping are great ways to get your foot in the door. Work placements are respected by potential employers as they prove that you've got initiative; and both placements and temping are no-strings attached, so it's easy to move if something bigger and better comes up.
Once you've found an industry and company that appeals to you, start searching and applying for jobs immediately. If there is nothing available, it's always worth writing prospective letters to companies to see if there are any roles available that aren't currently advertised that would be suitable for someone with your skills.
Choosing your employer
There are various things that differentiate employers, and not just the industry they operate in. Number of employees, office culture, ownership, management structures and staff development are all key areas you should look into when deciding your ideal employer.
Everyone is different when it comes to the type of environment they'd like to work in, so decide your criteria and check out the companies that offer a good match.