So You’ve Graduated...What now?

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It's a wonderful time of the year for academics: you're either beginning a new year or starting to enjoy the fruits of having completed university. Your life of exams, studying and living off baked beans is over. But what should you do next?

With the jobs market at an all time low, the previously default option of going straight into work isn't such a foregone conclusion any more. There are a number of options open to you now and you will need to think carefully about them as you won't have as much freedom at any time in your life as you have now.

Many university graduates choose to make the most of their freedom and go travelling. If you are fortunate enough to have some money put away you might like to go abroad and see a bit more of the world before starting your working life.

For those who aren't fortunate enough to have a cash stash at the ready, working abroad gives you a number of new options. Many bars and restaurants around the world are crying out for travelling people to work short-term, allowing you to see the world without needing a wad of cash before you leave. What's more, if you find a place you really like you might even consider settling down there rather than in the UK. With many more countries around the world having brighter economies and bigger job prospects than home at the moment, this might prove to be a wise choice.

However, as finding a job is now harder than ever before, there's no time like the present to start looking for permanent, meaningful employment. After all, you just can't beat the experience of getting into work and getting onto the first rung of the ladder as early as possible. It'll stand you in good stead in your future employment, too, as you will have shown a tenacity and keenness to begin working as quickly as possible rather than disappearing off for a couple of years on what is essentially a long holiday. That's the view of many employers, and it is employers at whose behest you will be for the next forty-odd years, so it's a viewpoint well worth bearing in mind!

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you do it with the future in mind. It's a very different world out there at the moment and planning for the future is absolutely essential.

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