In the run up to the launch party for our You’re Hired! Graduate Career Handbook Korin Grant and I are posting a series of blogs aimed at students and new grads which offer some tips on career building. In this eighth post we remind students that they are not alone and talk about how you can get some help with your career.
We all need help now and then. Ask anyone who is a bit further on in their career and they will no doubt be able to tell you a few stories of people who helped them to get where they are.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Employers value people who know when to ask for help. And, it is always important to remember that you will be in a position to give others help one day. Helping is a two way street.
Do any of the statements apply to you? If so, maybe you could use a bit of support.
- Feeling lost and unsure about what the next step might be
- Being repeatedly unsuccessful in recruitment
- Feeling panicked at the thought of completing an application or going for interview
- Concerned about your qualifications or lack of work experience
- Receiving feedback that you don’t understand
The list of people and organisations who want to help you is long. Let’s start with the best of all support services…
Your university career service (obviously!) – For advice, guidance, information, jobs, employer events, mock interviews, careers fairs, exploring your career, thinking about leaving uni, decisions about further study and more.
Other university support services – For advice and guidance about welfare, finance, housing, counselling, mental well-being, legal advice, visas, international student issues, disability support, English language and more.
Academic support – For help with academic writing (those tricky dissertations and referencing issues), help with revision, exam technique, English language support, numeracy etc.
Your Department or School – Your Personal Tutor is a good place to start although there will be various people ready to help you in your department. Invest a bit of time developing a positive relationship with your Personal Tutor. She is likely to act as a referee for you in the near future and may have links to industry through her work or research.
The internet – Google ‘Help me with my graduate career’ and you will find a ridiculous number of results and resources (over ten million at last search). In our Graduate Career Handbook we narrow the list down to our top websites for careers information, career tools and networking.
Your friends, family, friends of your family and pretty much everyone else that you’ve ever met – help can come from almost anywhere. Building a strong network and making good use of it is absolutely critical in terms of accessing help and support (see our post on overcoming your fear of networking).
So there are lots of people who can help you, but what is the best way to get help? We think that the following tips should help you.
- Get connected to support services and other kinds of supporters before you need them.
- Get prepared before you ask for help. Think carefully about the information that you need and what you should bring to help you to ask for help? Should you bring your passport, a print out of your CV, your most recent essay?
- Be open and flexible to different experiences offered to you
- Be ready to return the favour
While you are at university, and to a lesser extent when you are a recent graduate, there are a lot of people whose job it is to help you. Sadly this won’t be true throughout your life, so enjoy it and take advantage while you can.