A letter of…exploring options
This week we have some blogs written by our Alumni as letters to our recent graduates. Allow yourself to be challenged, inspired and motivated by their messages.
Dear CCCU Graduates,
I have been really struggling, trying to think of something really profound and useful for you, and well, to be honest I’ve never been known for my clarity or wisdom. However, I’ll do my best to give you something that’ll resemble ‘help’.
Now casting my eye back 5-6 years to when I graduated I remember having an overwhelming joy as education had been my life until my then ripe age of 22 – which left me considering “what next”, where do I go from here? Get a “proper” job I suppose?
But what is a proper job, how do you go about getting one? Where do you even look?
From here it quickly dawned on me that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and even less of an idea of how to get there. A feeling a lot of you, can probably resonate with right now. But don’t worry! This is completely normal. But if this isn’t you, and you have an idea of where you want to go, amazing! You’re ahead of the curve, and therefore reading this might not be as helpful (sorry) but feel free to continue reading anyway.
So when you’re looking for a job, I would suggest drawing up some form of list/Venn diagram to encompass your goal or end position. From there you’ll be able to backwards engineer to where you are now i.e. your starting point. For example; for those of you who are looking to start your own business, I would imagine having a success business at the end is the goal? But what is that business doing? How are you financing it? What research have you put into how you’re going to make your million-dollar idea work, etc. From doing this you should have your path to your idea of success. But for those of you, who are a lot like I was and have no idea where you see yourself in X number of years.
Consider what you enjoy. Can you make money doing that?
If nothing comes to mind – then consider whether it’s because you don’t know that field as well as you think, or whether it’s actually not a viable option, because I can almost guarantee at some level the former is true. I mean – you can record yourself playing & streaming games, and make a fortune from that! Which I would use to argue ‘anything’ is possible.
That being said, for those of you who are maybe more pragmatic, or looking for something more ‘safe’. Remember, that what you think a job entails, and what it actually will have you doing are two very different things. For example, I work in Banking – to be specific, commercial banking. Now, on the face of it, I could imagine a lot of you reading (if you’ve made it this far) probably assume my day to day is numbers, and spreadsheets. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. For the most part actually, my day to day is dealing with stakeholders both within and externally to the bank, I work as part of a small diversity and inclusion council, which play a hand in a culture shift within our segment, I get to host CV building workshops, and employability talks at universities and colleges throughout Kent all while helping business and self-employed people build their own empires, and achieve their dreams – all from the comfort of my dining room table, between the hours of 9-5 Mon – Fri. It’s not bad at all, hell. It’s actually fun.
Now, whatever you chose to do. Be that dive strait into the world of full time employment, decide to go traveling or take a more calculate approach to your working life.
Remember. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint.
You’re likely going to be working for 40+ years – so don’t put pressure on yourself to be at your end goal in 12 months. Instead, enjoy your time finding your feet, trying different jobs and ultimately building yourself a strong foundation from which to build from.
Gary Horton, BA Business Studies & Entrepreneurship CCCU Graduate 2015, now working in banking.
(click the name to connect with Gary on LinkedIn! Don’t forget to always add a message when you make a new connection – let Gary know you’ve read his blog and loved it, you’re graduating CCCU and pick out something from the above that has resonated with you or helped you, or ask a question!)
Getting further support from The Careers and Enterprise Team at CCCU
You can get ongoing careers support via the following ways:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Log onto the Careers and Enterprise Online Hub to access resources such as CV360, Interview Simulator and more. Our Live Chat function is also available for you to speak to us 10-12 and 2-4 Monday to Friday
- Check out our YouTube channel for more advice and signposting
- Don’t forget our workshops – all online and free and for all current students and recent alumni (up to 3 years post-graduation).