Home > Careers, Enterprise > In it to Win it! 5 Reasons to Try and to Apply!

In it to Win it! 5 Reasons to Try and to Apply!

Feel lost in a maze? - image

Want to give yourself an opportunity? (If you have an idea that could become a product, business or self-employment the deadline for flare 2015 has been extended to Friday 6 March.) However, even if you’re thinking of doing something else to forward your career, whether it is applying for graduate employment, placements or part-time work, it can be disheartening to look around and see so many others competing for the same opportunities. Here are 5 tips to keep you on track.

There are so many applications. Why should I bother?
It’s true that there is a huge number of applications for graduate schemes and placements, but the Association of Graduate Recruiters has some positive research. Despite an average of 75 applications for a role, nearly half of all employers have to re-advertise graduate positions each year, because so many of those applications are copied and pasted. If you put effort into your application and tailor it, you are competing with far fewer people than you think.

I never get past a certain stage.
By applying for positions you are already ahead of people who aren’t job searching, but it is disheartening to work on an application and not hear back, or go to interviews and never quite get the position. Wherever you find you are getting ‘stuck’ in the process, don’t take it to heart – it is not a rejection of you personally, but it might mean that you could review how you go about that stage of the process. Rethink how you are approaching that application, or finding that job, and see if there is a new approach you could take.

Everyone keeps telling me I need work experience to get work experience!
There are many organisations and charities who would love you to approach them and offer them two hours’ volunteering or shadowing a week (even for only a short time). If you can’t find exactly what you want, see if you can find something with transferable aspects. Student societies and hobbies can reveal a lot of skills. Structured sports or drama can show you can work in a team. You can organise events, marketing or finances for a society. You can build, create, write and engineer as a hobby. If you can demonstrate and value the specific skills you have shown, employers will too.

I want to be self-employed, sell my product or promote my services, but I don’t know where to start.
There are so many stories of inventors and start-ups who nearly didn’t begin. It can be daunting to think about yourself as an entrepreneur, but comforting to think that every start-up has to develop skills and face obstacles on the way. Despite years of setbacks completing the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell only continued working on it because of his friend’s encouragement, only to be told it was ‘an electrical toy’ by big business. Your idea may also face setbacks, but as Bell said, “Successful ideas are the result of slow growth. Ideas do not reach perfection in a day.” There are lots of opportunities to grow your idea in UH, and extra support from Careers, Employment and Enterprise to help you develop, from structuring your idea to financing and presentation skills. Please book an Enterprise appointment or think about attending the Enterprise bootcamp in the summer. Every idea has to start somewhere!

I don’t know what I want to do…
A lot of people stop before they get started because they worry about not feeling passionate for a particular career. Take a look at online resources like Prospects Planner and Target Careers Report for a starting point. Both are questionnaire based tools that will help you identify your skills and what sorts of roles would match your preferences. As well as identifying suitable roles, these tools will also show you sources of vacancies, case studies and training routes. Even if you are still unsure, try something out. You will soon find what aspects you enjoy whilst gaining experience, which will help inform your next steps.

Don’t count yourself out of the running before you apply for flare 2015! Believe in yourself and make the most of your chances, as there are separate prizes for ideas and for trading businesses.

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