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First or last job

Your  first job as a graduate is very unlikely to be your last job. Many graduates move on quite quickly from their first job as a graduate, and may have several jobs in their first seven years after graduation.

  1. Think of your first graduate job as work experience. If you are only looking for a first job as a graduate, look for a position where you can broaden your horizons and learn new skills.
  2. Treat your experience of looking for your first graduate job as practice to help you learn about the graduate labour market, and the job-searching process itself. This will probably take some of the stress out of looking for your job as a graduate, because it will feel more like a rehearsal than the real thing. It will also shift the focus from the graduate employment to learning about graduate employment, and give you permission to experiment and make mistakes. It is perfectly normal to make mistakes when we are learning something new.
  3. When applying for your first job ask about opportunities for training and development. Asking in an interview about opportunities for training and development informs the prospective employer that you are keen to learn. Furthermore, training and further education can be expensive, so it is a considerable perk of any job and should never be wasted.
  4. Expect to change jobs. The phenomenon of lifetime employment is rapidly disappearing.  Even jobs that seem secure now could disappear within a few years. The safest job is the one that enables you to gain skills, qualifications, and experience that can be applied in many different sectors of the economy.
  5. Consider taking a lesser job as a stepping stone to the job that you really want. A part-time, temporary or contract post can be a half-way house on the journey to reaching full-time graduate employment. It is usually easier to obtain a permanent job in your preferred field of work from a position of partial employment or employment in less targeted work, than from a position of being unemployed. The longer you remain unemployed, the stronger this point becomes.


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