While we were yet kids, our career paths seem so cut and dry. When asked what we wanted to be, our answers were simple and direct: I want to be teacher, a firefighter, a doctor and in extreme cases, I want to be bird (we really had some weird aspirations). But as we grow up, rounded up secondary school and headed to university, we’re exposed to all sorts of other career options in fields we never have had exposure to in a direct way. While we strived to earn degrees in fields we’re interested in pursuing, we were still left in the dark about a lot in the corporate world and alas, upon graduation, we are slapped in the face by surprise upon surprise.
Here are 10 career facts you most likely did not learn in the university:
1. You’re not limited to jobs in the field you got your degree in:
let’s say you have a degree in journalism, you might assume that means your options are limited to working in a media house. But armed with great communications skills, you could also qualify for jobs in PR, marketing, or business administration. It’s all about how well you play your cards and where you get your experience.
2. Your degree isn’t always that important to employers:
Despite what you’d like to believe, many employers are not necessarily particular about where you went to school, or even your discipline. Instead, they’ll focus instead on your skills: whether or not you appear trainable enough for the job you’ve applied for. They’ll also look at experience. Graduate level job seekers will find this time more challenging considering that they are just out of university and they won’t yet have much detail on their resume. It is best they focus on getting internships and volunteer positions to round out the experience employers will be looking for.
See also: CV Dos and Don’ts (1)
3. There are jobs you’ve never even heard of in your field:
Like many university grads, you probably researched all the amazing careers you could consider in your field. But the truth is that there are often many more beyond that researched list. If you have a degree in English, you’ve likely already considered the obvious option of teaching or writing, but publishing, proofreading, speech-writing, or becoming a paralegal might not have crossed your mind.
4. University is about networking:
Make the most out of your alumni network and see what opportunities there are for you professionally. Speak to lectures and professors in your department about what they’d recommend for you career-wise. Build relationships with course mates, you don’t know where and when you’ll need help or a recommendation.
5. University does not prepare you for a job:
The truth is nothing but job experience can adequately prepare you for a job. And, of course, you need job experience to get a job. It’s a vicious cycle to which you’ve got to find your own solution. Did I hear you say it is not fair? Well, newsflash, life is not fair.
6. Employers don’t want to train you to do a job:
That’s why they’re more likely to hire people with some sort of experience or the other. Do yourself a favor and take on an internship or two during your undergrad days and if you are done with school, it is not too late to do volunteer. An internship will make you more ‘hireable’ after graduation.
7. It’s okay to change your mind:
Many young graduates start working in their field of choice only to realize that it wasn’t what they expected when they were working so hard to earn their degree. Do not fret, It’s okay, you don’t necessarily need to start over and get another degree; just open your mind to other career options your degree might make you eligible for in the future.10 Career Facts They Did Not Tell Us in The University by Stellamaris Obomanu