The holiday season is fast approaching bringing lots of opportunities to reconnect with family and friends. One of the common questions asked when you meet up with people is ‘What are you doing now? After a term of Masters level study at SOAS (or a year and a term if you are a part time student), there will be much to tell! The follow up question which is then commonly asked is ‘What are you going to next’ At this point do you:
a) Outline your current plans and talk about recent applications
b) Say that you have lots of ideas and stop there
c) Change the subject
d) Steer the conversation around to what they do and try some networking!
If you answered A: Outline your current plans and talk about recent application
If you are writing your CV, filling out application forms or about to start applying, the Making Applications section of MySOAS Student has lots of useful hints and tips. This includes our handout on CVs for Masters Students, a useful guide to how to present your current and past experience to your future employer. After looking at our resources on applications, you can book a short guidance discussion with a Careers Consultant to get feedback on your draft CV or form.
When you receive an invitation to interview, don’t forget that the Careers Service offers practice interviews as well!
If you answered B: Say that you have lots of ideas and stop there
It’s great that you have lots of ideas but how might you take these forward? If you are finding it challenging to make some choices then have a look at the career decision information on MySOAS Student. How much do you know about the sector and roles that you are considering? Check out the ‘Explore Your Future’ pages on MySOAS Student for detailed information on many career areas. You can also use our Careers Tagged database to explore different types of work.
A discussion with a Careers Consultant may also help you think though your ideas and consider what you can do next to make your ideas a reality!
If you answered C: Change the subject
You may not have wanted to enter into a careers discussion in the midst of a social occasions and there is time and place for everything. On the other hand, if you find that you continually put to one side thoughts about the ‘next step’ after your course as you don’t know where to start or feel that there would be too much to do to sort things out, then come and talk to a Careers Consultant. Even taking some small steps about what to do after your course can be valuable. We are used to working with students and graduates who are very very unsure about future plans!
If you answered D: Steer the conversation around to what they do and try some networking!
The holiday season brings lots of opportunities to network and make useful contacts. If the thought of networking makes you nervous or just brings to mind, people in suits with lots of business cards then you may be reassured by looking at some hints and tips in the career planning section of MySOAS Student.
‘Mastering Your Career’ suggests that everything needs to be organised at all times – we all know life is not like that. Serendipitous encounters, the job that catches your eye when browsing through a vacancy list and a casual discussion with the person next to you in a lecture (SOAS students have a lot to offer) can all help to life’s rich career tapestry!
May you all enjoy your vacation (it is nearly here!).
Claire Rees, Careers Consultant