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Careers and Enterprise

Making career choices

For most jobs, recruiters are more interested in your skills, abilities, and attitude (e.g. analytical skills, team working and being proactive) rather than your specific degree subject. Queen Mary English graduates have gone on to become accountants, geography graduates work in computer programming and graduates from chemistry are working in consultancy. This means that there are a huge number of opportunities open to you.

Keep in mind that there are probably many different career areas that you would enjoy and most people change careers a number of times in their working lives.

Find out about jobs by:

  • Reading profiles of different job roles on Prospects and Target Jobs.
  • Attending career events to hear alumni and employers talk about their jobs and how they got there.
  • Using LinkedIn and Twitter to ask those working in the industry about what they do.
  • Taking part in work experience and volunteering to discover different roles, working environments and learn what you enjoy and what you are good at.
  • Trying career matching quizzes like Prospects Planner and browsing job boards to gain ideas.
  • Talking to people you know (friends, family, and contacts from previous work experience) about what they do and what they like about it.

Final words of advice:

  • Be curious. Keep an open mind and take an interest in what other people do and how they got there. You could discover a new job role or find out that what you thought you wanted to do isn’t right after all. It is common to change your mind a number of times about your next steps!
  • Be flexible. If you rule too many things out in the search for perfection, don’t be surprised if you’re left with no options at all. Be open to new ideas and to try things you’ve never tried before. Many people have jobs that they got in to by accident, which is totally different from what they had planned.
  • Be persistent and positive. Job hunting can take time. The reality is we will all face setbacks and rejection from employers at some point. Learn from the experience and use it to help you make your next decision.