The basics
THE UK: Career Prospects

Life after university

Arooj shares his experience finding a job and a place to live after completing his studies in the UK.


'Okay, so I'm now done with University. Very exciting... Infact, overwhelming! I dont have to deal with courseworks and exams, and relieved that I do not have to make that 1 hour 20 minute jounrney thrice a week. No more deadlines, no more lectures to go to, and no more long days spent in campus!! What more could I ask for after three tedious years of hard work and sleepless nights (when the deadlines were due). 

Now to think of things I can do to enjoy this time and make the most out of it until I take a next major step of my life. After a few days of relaxing and end of semester celebrations, I tried to map out where my life will be going from that point.
So the first step was the decision to move to another city after spending 4 and a half years in London, and move to the second largest city of the UK, and Voila! I'm in Birmingham doing viewings for a place to let. After a couple of days of searching I settle on a place and all the paperwork is done. Moved in, all settled in. Life's good so far...
Everything until this point seemed very easy. Second step was to explore the area and ofcourse, start a career. They're right when they say that things are easier said than done. Making such big moves was definitely not easy. If I was feeling happy that a new life starts here, I was completely mistaken. I forgot about the fact that this new life needed a starting point. Being in a new place is not a piece of cake, and its definitely not easy to plan things when you've been used to certain surroundings for a certain period of time. 
Thanks to the recession, jobhunting can be a nightmare. Especially for us graduates dreaming of landing a job as soon we're done with education. In the UK, One in 10 graduates is unemployed. It's a harsh fact and with graduate unemployment increasing by 44% in 2009,  we can expect this figure to be higher in the present. 
I read somewhere that the applicant-to-hire ratio these days is somewhere between 1:200 and 1:500. I thought it was a ridiculous figure until I noticed that I had applied for some 87 jobs and not heard back from any of the employers. It's a famous saying which goes "Try, try again". Sure, but it might not work for everyone. Once you start applying you will understand my point. 
My advise to anyone who is a student or graduate is to have bucket loads of patience. There is definitely a lot of research that needs to be done before you start applying for jobs. I don't mean to dishearten, but it really is a tough market these days. Also, keep your options open. Aiming for a job related to your course is great, but hey! you never know when you come across something interesting.
Always go to all interviews that you get invited to, even if you are not interested in the role. Attending interviews is great for preparing for the next ones coming up and being in a professional environment. You can also get useful interview tips and CV writing tips from recruitment sites like Monster and Jobsite
And finally, enjoy your time spent between finishing education and when you start working ful-time. It's a great feeling knowing you've accomplished something. The time when you were a student will never come back, so make the most out of these years!'


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