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Final year has crept up on you, and with dissertation deadlines fast approaching, it is easy to develop tunnel vision and you hurtle yourself towards that concluding paragraph. But, once you have handed in your final draft, it soon becomes apparent that your university journey has come to an end, and it is now time to take on a new adventure – the real world.

It’s a scary concept, we know. But, luckily for you, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your transition from student to society is a smooth one. Check out our top tips below.

Research your chosen career

When you started your course all of those years ago, we bet you were certain you wanted to work in a specific role, and that your time at university would all build up to that. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and if you have now decided that career isn’t for you, it can be stressful trying to pinpoint and identify another route.

And sometimes, your university may not offer the support you need. A recent Yugo survey revealed that 42% of UK students said that their university could have provided more careers advice to help prepare them for their future careers. Fortunately, you have the power to forge your own path.

The main point here is to not overthink things. Take the time to reflect internally on what you have learned during your higher education journey, and what interested you the most. What are you passionate about? What do you enjoy doing? Make a list of those things, and then research careers that involve those traits.

It is important to remember that you don’t need to have your mind made up from the get-go. Check out intern opportunities that can help you trial different roles and responsibilities in a company that interests you. Remember, you have time, and you are qualified - so prioritise finding a fulfilling career that won’t give you the Sunday scaries 🫣.

Build your skills

According to a recent Yugo survey, 50% of students said that their university could have offered more work experience/internship opportunities to help prepare them for their future careers. So, why not take measures into your own hands? Once you have a vague idea about the industry you are interested in, it’s time to upskill.

Are there any summer volunteering placements or internships you can take on? How about online courses or certificates you can complete? Do you have a portfolio that you could dedicate some time to? In the world of jobs, having a little more experience than your peers can be the cherry on top for employers – especially if you have demonstratable results - so it is worth looking into!

Get your finances in order 💸

Once your student loans stop hitting your bank account, it can be a worrying prospect. Where will your next paycheck be coming from? In the interim between leaving university and securing your ‘dream job’, it is a great idea to take on a side hustle or part-time job to keep your finances afloat.

Remember, the process of researching roles, interviewing, and securing a job after university can take longer than you initially expected (or you might find your dream role instantly!) – so it is a great idea to have a financial backup during that time.

Certain part-time jobs have more benefits than others, and can better suit your lifestyle. Love coffee and only want to work mornings? A breakfast shift at Starbucks sounds like a great shout. Got a passion for fashion but always end up spending too much at the retail park? We heard Zara employees get 25% off, and free clothes to wear as uniform. It’s all about choosing a role that suits your routine – bonus points if it provides experience for the career you’re working towards!

Consider putting a budgeting and savings plan in place, just like you did during your time at university.

Work your network

If there is one thing that can help bolster your career, it’s having the right contacts in the right places. ‘Your network is your network’ or whatever those cringey LinkedIn influencers say – and whilst this is a cheesy quote, it is actually true in most circumstances.

So, before you finish your time at university, make sure you keep in touch with your course mates, lecturers, and any guest speakers you have come into contact with. You never know when you will cross paths again later in your career.

Additionally, try to attend networking events for your trade as much as possible. These can be online seminars, drinks and nibbles, or full blown industry events – any place where you can get your name out there and speak one-on-one with inspiring professionals in your field. Connect with them and make them remember you!

Consider your living circumstances 🏠

Once you finish your course, it is time to move out of student accommodation. But, you can still choose to live with your friends! Most post-graduate students choose to re-locate to wherever their career path takes them, so it is a great idea to some sort of path decided before you begin looking for accommodation. Remember, there is no shame in returning to your family home – now is the time to prioritise what is best for you!

To find out more about Yugo, please visit here.