Posted by: clairebyron | March 28, 2014

Guest post: Work experience – or – Shy bairns get nowt!

In addition to our regular bloggers, occasionally on Careering Ahead we will publish one off ‘guest posts’ – this one is from Cassie Lawrence, Stage 3, BA English Literature…

My number one rule in looking for work experience – don’t wait for an offer to present itself. I have in my time literally pounced on a woman at a public lecture because I overheard her talking about working in publishing. Obviously don’t be cheeky or offended if they say no but don’t think you’ll be the first to have asked either. I got her email and then got distracted by my dissertation amongst other things and put it on the backburner. Read More…

Posted by: amandaguarino | March 14, 2014

The Interview – How I Got my First Job

Getting to the interview stage is a crucial (and nerve-wrecking!) part of the job hunt experience.  Here is the story of the disastrous interview that led to me getting hired!

In early May 2012, just weeks before my graduation, I was invited for an interview taking place an hour from where I lived.  Setting out at rush hour in the fog, I gave myself two hours to drive there.  I didn’t have GPS (Sat Nav) and was unfamiliar with the roads, but I did have rough directions written down.  However, I still managed to get massively lost.  During this ordeal, I was on the phone with my interviewer (the company president) multiple times explaining that I would be late.  She eventually had to talk me through how to get there over the phone.  I felt like an idiot before I even walked in the door.  How unprofessional!

Before I walked in for the interview, I thought there was a slim-to-none chance that I could actually get hired after all this.  However, having this low expectation actually worked in my favour.  I was able to relax and be myself.  My personality and passion for the job really came through, and my boss could see me for who I really was, instead of a fake scripted act.  She informed me a week later that she would like to hire me.  I worked there one year and it was an amazing experience.  I was a really good fit for the company, and I’m glad my boss could sense that during the interview.

Now, I’m not suggesting to be late for interviews, or even forget your list of references as I also did in this situation. The moral of the story is to be yourself on the interview.  Of course, the professional you.  Being too scripted, nervous and serious will make you sound unnatural.  Plus, if you are truly yourself and don’t get the job in the end, you can be at peace knowing that you might not have been a good fit anyway, for either the desired role or the company.  Look at interviews as a learning experience.  At the very least they are practice for future interviews, a way to learn about a company or industry, and make for a story to tell as well.  Good luck!

Posted by: calumkirk | March 1, 2014

STEM – Worries, Myths and the Future

Are you using LinkedIn? You should, it’s still a brilliant tool for career networking and is actively geared towards helping you present a more professional digital presence than Facebook or Twitter. I’ve been using it for a while and I can see the potential but honestly my use of it could be considerably better (so I’ll probably end up talking about it in a future blog entry). The only use I really get out of it at the moment are the weekly emails with links to career based articles on other websites. Most seem to be very US centric but some articles are useful, and most are at least interesting in the sense that they give a wider understanding of the current or predicted job market. One article I came across last year really peaked my interest though. Entitled The STEM Staffing Crisis is a Myth it highlighted several interesting discussion points on a topic that I knew next to nothing about but, given my career path, really should know everything about. I’ve wanted to write something highlighting this article for a while and I realised not long after my first post that this blog would be a perfect place to bring it to everyone’s attention. Even if you don’t study a STEM degree it brings up topics that are relevant to everyone. So this blog entry is aimed at getting the gears turning so to speak and getting you wonderful readers to think and talk more about the topic. Read More…

Posted by: Skaidre Jusaityte | January 30, 2014

Your Guide to Assessment Centres 1: Preparation

spongebob__are_you_ready__bubbles_by_catz537-d5o1ap0Hello, fellow job hunters. Never been to a graduate assessment day? Neither have I- until today. You’re anxious and uncertain of how torturous the whole process will be? So was I. Assessment centres always sound so daunting. Starting with the worrying joyful news that you’ll be closely observed (and judged) for about 6 hours it gets even worse better when you think about delivering a presentation in front of your competitors, just waiting there for you to trip. However, better get your assessment centre caps ready, as they are an unavoidable part of many companies hiring process. 

I survived one today and rushed back here to share my experience and some honest advice with you. In part 1 I’m going to give you a few tips about preparing for the the big assessment day. Whereas part 2 (to be released in February) will concentrate on tricks that will come useful on the day itself.

Read More…

Posted by: jianglinzi | January 22, 2014

A Good Mindset Matters

Another year has come! I don’t even realize how time goes by so quickly. I’m still trying hard to find a job, or an internship. In the last months, I’ve got some new thoughts concerning looking for a job, which I hope may help you.

Yes, I want to talk about the mindset. Finding a job is a long, painstaking, tiring, boring, frustrating… (ok, stop!)… but meaningful process. It’s a transition from the school to the workplace where you played/will play a part in.You don’t need to be anxious for success (sometimes I’m so anxious when I fire off my CVs but receive no responses), which is nothing but frustrating, but that doesn’t mean you can reap where you haven’t sown.

All you need to do is take your time. In the process, you will have learned how to choose the industry you most want to engage in and thereafter the most desirable company. It is necessary to understand the cultural background and know about key people in the company. And trying to resonate with their values is important. During this period, a right-mindset job seeker will witness his/her rapidly-improved capabilities. Moreover, when you possess excellent communicating skills and relevant experiences and so on, you ARE fully-prepared for the interview and even the job in the future. As a saying goes, if you want the job, you’d better imagine you are doing the job already.

Calm down and be positive. Happy job hunting in 2014!

Posted by: calumkirk | January 15, 2014

To volunteer or not to volunteer? There is no question.

So in my last post I mentioned volunteering, what I consider to be the most important factor in finding a career or job. Well, I still stand by that statement and so I thought that I’d expand a little on that idea that, I’m sure tantalised you all last time.
I will however start with a disclaimer. While I have myself volunteered at a number of places and in a variety of roles, my experience is nowhere near exhaustive. I focussed my volunteering to suit my particular aspirations or interests so my suggestions may not be directly suited to you. “Effects may vary” if you will. But still, I hope that you find some use in the following.

So first what are the perks, why is volunteering a good thing? Why spend your valuable time doing something for free?
Primarily, like I said last time, Read More…

Posted by: clairebyron | January 13, 2014

Guest post – Big Four or not?

© Jenny Rollo

© Jenny Rollo

In addition to our brilliant regular bloggers, occasionally on Careering Ahead we will publish one off ‘guest posts’ – this one is from Sam Heward, currently doing his third year in Geography here at Newcastle…

When it comes to accountancy it’s very easy to get drawn towards the ‘Big 4’, they all have a huge presence on campus and all promise good salaries, prospects etc. In fact many students looking at grad schemes won’t look anywhere else. So why after a summer internship at a non-Big 4 firm have I decided to accept their offer of a job for next year? Read More…

Posted by: amandaguarino | January 10, 2014

14 Career Ideas for 2014

January is a time for new beginnings, especially with New Year’s resolutions and all.  Whether you’re starting out or trying to add some life into an existing career, here are 14 things you can do in 2014:

  1. Network.  It’s a word and activity we all dread in some ways, but think of networking as a learning opportunity.  I have learned so many interesting facts about industry trends, job responsibilities and workplace environments by just talking to people.
  2. Make friends.  I do not just suggest making friends with people in your chosen career field.  Whilst that is excellent for networking, I suggest you surround yourself with friends from a variety of backgrounds.  Not only will it make your life well-rounded, it will make you an interesting person and give you some perspective on your own chosen path.
  3. Maintain a LinkedIn presence.  Even if you forget you ever created an account, log in once and awhile to see what’s going on.  Make sure you have an updated and good-looking profile as you search for jobs.
  4. Get creative.  Mix up your usual routine, change up your desk, or do something fun on your lunch break.  Small changes can make mundane tasks seem more exciting, and may even stimulate thinking.
  5. Ask questions.
  6. Take a break.
  7. Don’t settle.  If your position is not challenging, ask if there is more responsibility you can take on.  If your job isn’t a good fit, don’t be afraid to look for something new.
  8. Keep healthy.  Eating properly and exercising regularly will give you ample energy to do the job.
  9. Sleep.
  10. Socialise with colleagues.  Whether it’s a staff member’s birthday, Christmas party or just a tea break, get to know those whom you work with.
  11. Read up on your chosen career field.
  12. Perfect your social media skills.
  13. Stay as organized as you can.
  14. Don’t compare yourself to your peers.  Post-graduation, you and your former course mates are now following separate paths, each with its pros and cons.  Focus on yours.
Posted by: Skaidre Jusaityte | January 8, 2014

Start the 2014 with some Career Planning


Happy 2014 everyone!

For all of you who added career planning to your New Year’s resolutions but have no idea where to begin and keep asking yourselves the dreadful ‘what am I going to do with my life?!’, don’t panic, we have all been there.

To kick-start a new year and make career searching easier for everyone I thought I should share these two links that I found instrumental when deciding on my career path. With an exciting drum-roll sound in my mind I present you… the jazzy duo: Prospects Career Planner and TARGETjobs Careers Report.

Read More…

Posted by: EmmaMountain | December 24, 2013

The Highs and Lows of Post Graduation Life

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