Preparing for work after study

We know that leaving university to enter the world of work can be scary, but the Careers Centre is here to make that transition easier. In this guest blog post, Jacqui Musson from Sellick Partnership talks about how to prepare for work.


Leaving university can be as exciting as it can be daunting. For three or more years you’ve built relationships and an understanding of how to operate within the confines of another educational institute, one that has required more self discipline and motivation perhaps than your previous experience. Whilst the idea of no more dissertations or exams is just the best feeling possible, what’s next can be as scary a proposition.

If, like I did, you’ve decided that getting straight on with your career is the move for you, then the time has come to think strategically about what you want to do and what are the best steps to get there.

It is highly unlikely that you’ll be walking into a management role earning £30K within your first year, and realistically, even within your first five years. Many graduates will spend a significant time volunteering, interning or temping to build experience and compete with candidates who have work experience. But don’t be too hard on yourself; think of each day as a new opportunity, and another skill that you can add to the CV. You might not think it now, but in ten years you’ll spend hours agonising over how to keep your CV to two pages.

I remember the single most frustrating part of looking for my first job was hearing that I didn’t have enough experience, so think creatively about the skills that you have.

You’ll most likely have worked part-time whilst studying, or perhaps you’ve had a work placement as part of your degree, but even if you have no job experience at all you will have strings to your bow. Don’t focus on the tasks that you completed, think about the skills you learnt – how many of these apply?

  • Managing multiple deadlines
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Communicating with people at different levels
  • Working in a team
  • Demonstrating initiative
  • Customer service
  • Proactive and positive attitude
  • Realistic expectations
  • Working to and meeting targets
  • IT skills

You might be lucky enough to have chosen a career with a simplified, direct path through to a senior position, but if not, think strategically. Employers like candidates with experience in lots of different types of organisations, an ability to hit the ground running and most of all positivity, personality and likeability. You’ll interview better and find it far easier to fit into a team if you can demonstrate a sense of humour!

At Sellick Partnership our business is people’s careers; our job is to place candidates in the legal and financial sector, so we understand the importance of a great CV. But as a business, we spend a great deal of time making our company an attractive place to work. Recruitment is a great career path, it’s an opportunity to be part of a £34 billion industry which employs over 90,000 people in the UK, and it attracts ambitious, intelligent and motivated people, fresh out of university each year, who have had some sales experience. Are you personable, hard working looking for a varied, fast-paced role with the opportunity to be well remunerated in a short timescale? If so, add recruitment to your list of potential career paths…

Jacqui Musson is Marketing Communications Executive at Sellick Partnership, recruitment specialists in the legal and financial sectors. Sellick Partnership will be exhibiting at the Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair on 9 June. For advice about a career in recruitment, come and see us at stand 52, or visit

1 Comment

Filed under Advice, Career fairs & events, Job Market

One response to “Preparing for work after study

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.