After recently making the move from full time study into the corporate working environment I have come to a quick realisation just how tough and competitive the market is. I had the knowledge gained from my degree but where to now? I came to a vast realisation that a degree is very rarely enough. All that time and money invested, has not been immediately useful but is there for a long term gain. I now realise my degree is an experience which enabled me to grow my personal knowledge base but isn’t really useful at the present time.

Understanding that a degree is not enough is the first step to map your career. If you are studying, what is it that you plan on doing when you’re finished? What will help you get there? It is about short term wins for long term gains and understanding that a career is a process that involves a number of different steps. When mapping out your career think about the next step to take on a new role and do some planning. Take a look at your career from a holistic view as it is unrealistic to walk out of a degree and step straight into your dream job. Be prepared to start from the bottom to work your way up.

Once you have an idea of where you are heading you need to gain the greatest knowledge possible of the position and the industry you are looking to get into. Knowledge is power and the greater understanding you have of an industry and the position only then will you be able to move forward. The more you allow yourself to develop and grow the further you can go. So the question in the short term is: if you are still studying or recently completed a degree, what will propel you forward and what are you prepared to do?

I continually meet candidates looking for work on a daily basis and I have trouble when they do not understand what they are looking for. I can be of little assistance if I do not know what you want or where you want to go. As a recruiter I am here to help but you need to do the ground work before you arrive. Help me, help you and start thinking about your personal map. What can you achieve in the next twelve months, five years and finally ten years? Get yourself where you want to go and start planning.

If knowledge is power to your career, then the sky is the limit! Become a sponge for information and take advantage of knowledge sharing and those around you who all hold valuable information and life experience. This will be invaluable to making your map and help you get where you want to go.

Cara Stagg – Consultant

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