The more you know, the further you’ll go (after university)
By building up an understanding of what skills and attributes you will need for the career you want, and working towards developing these, you’ll have a better chance of gaining that job. While it’s sometimes overwhelming to know where to start, the following tips will help you get well on your way.
There is a wealth of information and resources that you can find online (some which are better than others) to research your career options.
- Have your resume reviewed instantly and processed in real time – any day, any time – on Rate My Resume!
- The Career Action Plan can help you to navigate the career development process. Whether you are starting from scratch, or focusing on a particular step in your career progression, you can access useful resources, complete activities, and record your progress via this personalised tool.
- The Professional Mentoring Platform is an online flash mentoring platform designed to connect students and recent graduates with industry mentors.
- If you’re looking to start your internship journey, we can help. Our internship website gives you access to the UTS Student Guide to Internships, as well links to live internship opportunities, and ways to have your internship questions answered.
Learn from others
Do not underestimate the value of learning from others. You can seek informed advice in a variety of ways including:
A good way of researching or gathering information about jobs and possible careers is by interviewing people who already work in similar roles. You can interview people over the phone, Skype or face-to-face. The main purpose is to allow you to gather the most up-to-date information about the qualifications, skills and experience you need to apply for particular jobs so you can use this information to tailor your resume and application letters for future job searches. Information interviews also help you to make valuable contacts in your chosen industry, and maybe gain a mentor.
Professional associations and industry bodies
Joining professional associations and industry bodies is a great way to get involved and connected to your field of study whilst you are a student and throughout your career. Most professional organisations provide ongoing professional development, training activities for members, networking events, conferences and information sessions. Many professional associations have discounted fees for students and provide online resources, job opportunities and career advice for members.
Having a mentor provides you with an opportunity to learn from another person’s life lessons. A mentor can share industry skills, knowledge, expertise, advice and professional contacts, and can support you to set or clarify career goals, resolve difficult problems, and make career decisions.
If you want to find a mentor, a great place to start is to think about your current network- who do you already know that you feel aligns to your career direction and that you will be able to learn from? If you do not have anyone in your current network, use other strategies to build a professional relationship that may turn into a mentor/mentee relationship such as using the Professional Mentoring Platform, conducting information interviews, and/or by networking through professional associations and industry bodies.
- A mentor/mentee relationship can grow organically and be collaborative.
- As a mentee do not undervalue your own skills as you can reverse mentor and potentially upskill your mentor.
- Your goal should not be to just find a single mentor whilst studying, but to find multiple mentors. Over the expanse of your career you may establish a board of advisors whose advice you can trust regarding career related subjects.
- Mentors may be at different stages of their career, they may be where you want to be in 1 year (including other students) or 5 years’ time and do not have to be a C-level executive.
- Cultivate, value and respect this relationship over time, a mentor is someone to have beyond university and can have benefits throughout your career.
- Ensure you are prepared when you speak to your mentor, know what you want to ask, understand what you want to achieve from the relationship and what you can contribute to the relationship.
Learn from experience
Use your time at university to engage in different types of activities, which will help you have a well-rounded university experience and also increase your confidence and develop your soft skills. Try to find a good balance between study, extra-curricular activities and any paid work you might be doing. Areas that give you the opportunity to expand your experience include:
- Part-time/casual experience
- Extra-curricular activities
- Student societies or clubs
- Exchange/Study Abroad
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
By Katie Novakov
Katie is a recruiter turned career development professional and now applies her recruitment experience for assisting students. She thrives when she is engaging and connecting with students. She currently leads the employability program the UTS Accomplish Award, which successfully provides high quality learning experiences and connects students with employers.
Katie has helped thousands of students and specialises in delivering a range of employability events and programs, to inspire higher education students to excel in their careers and learn lifelong career management skills.