So you’ve finished your Finals and enjoyed your graduation parties, but what does the future hold?

The chances are that you’ll be looking for work, but how do you decide which career path to take? And it’s likely that you’ll have chosen to study a subject you enjoyed or were directed towards a certain course based on your academic history. There’s little point in studying a subject that you don’t like, so this makes total sense on one level, but it can also be a bit of a hindrance when you reach the end of your third year with no real idea of what’s next for you.

Being at University will have given you purpose, a mission. You’ll no doubt have met some great people along the way and learnt lots of new skills, but now the choices out there can seem extremely daunting. Before you knew it, your degree course is over, and you feel as if you need to start exploring your options and making some serious choices.

The first thing to note is that there’s no need to panic. Many of us don’t actually find out what our dream job is until years after graduating, although in some cases the right job can fall into place straightaway. It’s important to remember that you’re right at the start of your journey and as a result you’re probably not even sure what your ideal role might be or what your career options are. So where do you start?

Over the years we’ve met so many graduates who were feeling exactly how you may be right now, so don’t worry: you’re not alone and it’s completely normal. A good place to start is by asking yourself a few questions. If this proves difficult, simply find someone who you trust and get them to ask you. They may even have a few ways to help you uncover the answers. These questions can include:

• What do I enjoy?
• What do I find comes naturally to me?
• What am I really good at? (Don’t worry if you haven’t worked before, but if you have just think about the role that you did, even if it was stacking shelves at Tesco)
• What am I not so good at?
• Is there anyone doing a job I really like the look of, and what is it about that role that appeals to me? (Take a look around you, and talk to your friends, your family, their parents and people you have met along the way)
• What would be a dream day?
• What would a nightmare job look like?
• What would my employer / lecturer say about me?

As Rosa dos Santos, owner of Exact Sourcing, observes, meeting with recruiters and exploring options – even if they are temporary roles – is a great way to get a feel for the kind of career options that might work for you. ‘At Exact we recognise that it doesn’t matter how big or small the role that you’re targeting is, it’s vital to leave a great impression, as you just never know who you will meet again one day and whether they may even consider you for an alternative position,’ says Rosa. ‘There’s no cost to you to register with a recruitment agency as we are usually remunerated by the employer that recruits you. Look for an agency such as ours that will take the time to meet you – even if it’s currently via video – as we know that we are all exposed to so many different options yet there is a chance that we may even suggest a position that you never even knew existed! I think I’m a prime example, actually. At the start of my career I’d never dreamt of getting into recruitment. The reason I’m here now is that someone took the time to interview me and to understand the skills I was able to bring to the sector before giving me a chance. And the same could happen to you, so next time you receive a phone call from a recruitment consultant, take the time to answer their questions and build that relationship with them as you never know which doors they’ll be able to open for you.’

Exact Sourcing is a recruitment agency in Cambridge and Newmarket, and we also serve Ely, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Royston and Sawston. If you’re a graduate and you’re unsure of how to progress your career, why not contact us for an initial conversation?