It has been a week since I handed in my last ever university assignment and, after the crazy 6 weeks of deadlines I had, I have been enjoying the freedom of not being stuck in the library reading journals and writing essays. However, the realisation that I will soon no longer be classed as a student, and have to tick the dreaded unemployed box on application forms, is setting in. Due to my deadlines being set so close together, and because I have not been 100% sure what area of my degree I want to go into, I was putting off applying for jobs until I had more time to properly think through my options and start the lengthy process of job searching.
I was hoping that as my town planning course progressed I would have a clearer idea of what area of planning to go into professionally, however this has not been the case. To help me sort through my options I arranged a meeting at the Careers Service with the town planning careers adviser Marcus and I am so glad I did. He talked me through possible career directions and the best ways to go about arranging work experience to give me a taste of the different areas of planning to help me make better career decisions. We also looked through my CV and re-arranged the points within it to better focus it towards planning. I left the meeting feeling a lot more prepared for my next steps.
My plan for the next couple of days is to re-write my CV and use the skills section within it to tailor it towards the ethics of the company that I am writing to. I am then going to start contacting companies I would ideally like to work for and ask them for some advice regarding the steps I should take to get into that area of the planning. This should help me to build contacts in the hope that I will be able to secure some work experience placements. Marcus also pointed out the importance of making contacts through online media as well, so I shall be creating a LinkedIn profile in the hope that it will also help my networking.
I already have a few existing contacts that I can use to get started, but I think the most important thing for me now is to continue building these through networking and hopefully I will be able to secure something within the professional planning world soon. If, like me, you are unsure of what you want to do once you graduate, I would definitely recommend booking an appointment with the Careers Service to talk to an adviser. You will be surprised by the number of simple (and what seem like obvious once reminded!) job searching tips you will get that you had forgotten about, or hadn’t even considered!
Emily V (Student Blogger)