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Planning your Job Hunt – Masters Talk Victoria Wade Careers Consultant.

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Presentation on theme: "Planning your Job Hunt – Masters Talk Victoria Wade Careers Consultant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Planning your Job Hunt – Masters Talk Victoria Wade Careers Consultant

2 What we will cover Potential routes post-Masters study Self Exploration / Confused Career Thinking Taking Decisions The UK job market / what employers want Job Hunting: Reactive / Proactive methods Selling your Masters experience

3 3 Ways of Using your Qualification Continue in academia – PhD / Postdoc, leading to Research & Lectureship Outside Academia: In job and/or further study where your subject knowledge / tech. skills are essential and/or useful In work which makes use of transferable skills gained rather than subject knowledge

4 Stages of career thinking I have no idea what I want to do I have some idea of what I want out of a job I have a good idea about what I want out of a job and want to explore a few options I want to be an X or Y

5 Values, Interests & Priorities The clearer you are about what you want from a career the more likely you are to make a good decision Self Exploration

6 Confused Career Thinking Bandwagon effect How much of your thinking comes from other people’s opinion? Are you putting too much emphasis on what other people from similar backgrounds tend to go into? Authority bias Are you giving too much weight to an option because you like or respect the person who told you about it? Focusing effect Are you relying too much on using only one factor to evaluate career options (eg money, lifestyle etc)? Wishful thinking How much are your decisions based on what you hope the job will be like rather than a real understanding? Stereotyping Are you judging the attractiveness of certain careers based on limited information and a lot of assumptions?

7 Taking Decisions - ROADS Realistic How realistic is your choice (eg competition, qualifications, suitability) Opportunities How thoroughly have you investigated alternative options? What is your option B, option C etc. Anchors What are the key components of job satisfaction for you? How confident are you that your choice will fulfil your career needs? Development How far ahead have you investigated? How you considered how your priorities might change over time? Stress What are the downsides of your chosen option? What elements might you find it most difficult to cope with? eg workload, deadline, responsibility, managing others etc.

8 8 Career management cycle How do I decide what to do next? Self- analysis Opportunity awareness Generate options, test ideas and set goals Transition (applications)

9 9 Career drivers: I want : to use my language skills to be based in in country x/ London to use my specialist knowledge a job that directly helps people an ethical job a research element to my job to earn alot of money some time out/ more time to study ‘ Strengths’ - I have: skills: writing persuasively, presenting to a group, research, nemerical & analytical abilities experience: (paid or unpaid) ‘Weaknesses’ – I don’t have: eg.patience ‘Non-negotiables’: I need a salary over a certain amount something more than looking at a PC all day to stay in London Self- analysis: what about me?

10 10 Opportunity awareness: generating ideas first destinations: what other SOAS graduates have done before – on SOAS website signpost sheet: your degree in….. what next? available from careers service/ dowload from prospects.ac.uk SOAS specific sheets eg Languages and Cultures of Africa, Development Economics - available from Careers Service and on the Moodle prospects planner (careers matching database) available on – ‘What jobs would suit me’ careers directories, literature and courses Getting into…’books and files eg. Getting into International Development Courses & events: Arts Administration, The City Course, LGRF (see events: SOAS Jobs mini-fair and London Graduate recruitment fair (www.careers.lon.ac.uk/events) vacancy sources: past and current ads sent to SOAS careers service/ Saturday Guardian

11 11 Testing your ideas do you know enough about this option to be realistic about it? what questions would you need answered before you were more confident that it was a realistic option for you? how can I find more information: look at careers information case studies in occupational career service files/ use your network/ SOAS alumni (conduct information interviewing) short-term exposure through temping/ interning/ volunteering perhaps as part of ‘portfolio working week’

12 The UK Job Market 60% of all graduate jobs are open to any degree discipline Employers seek a mix of educational & work experience & personal qualities (‘competencies’) 7% of UK graduates join Graduate Programmes 93% UK companies are Small / Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Masters / PhD is not always a route to a higher job entry point compared to a new graduate

13 Where to find Opportunities Formally Advertised PhDs (includes professional doctorates) - international (Postgrad. Section - type ‘PhD’ into keyword search) Individual University Websites (for full list try UCAS website) - Proactive Applications for Research Studentships e.g. SOAS:

14 Reactive methods Careers Service Activities Employer presentations Careers fairs Alumni contact Recruitment agencies Should be free to you Which ones specialise in your field? Submit CV / include personal profile Maintain the relationship / keep in touch

15 Reactive methods Responding to adverts Vacancies database cies.aspx Directories of employers National and local newspapers Industry press

16 Reactive - Graduate Recruitment Schemes Often early applications in Nov/Dec to start in the following September Some organisations have several intakes during the year Work experience preferred though key personal skills can be evidenced via a range of experiences Structured / varied development Route for 7% of graduates nationally Postgraduates generally apply alongside graduates But how you portray your postgraduate experience can impact

17 Proactive methods Speculative approaches seeking positions: Research and approach known companies of interest CV/letter seeking opportunity Make your application well researched & targeted Show an understanding of organisation’s activity, past and present Try and send it to most relevant person – make enquiries, get a name. Identify other ‘unknown’ organisations (could be lesser known Small/Medium Enterprises – SMEs) Research who is advertising positions in your field of interest, even if too senior for you Approach the organisation expressing interest in this (possibly expanding) area or others like it

18 Proactive: Develop online networks Twitter Sign up to relevant organisations tweets Blogs Show your commitment / interest / knowledge Facebook Upto date news/opportunities, eg SOAS Careers Facebook page LinkedIn Far more focused on career networking that (eg) Facebook Seek alumni, established professionals, for advice/insight

19 19 So there’s no magic to exploring options but a process to follow… establish what you want, non-negotiables, strengths and weaknesses explore options with your profile in mind identify a few jobs to investigate further test these for potential suitability eliminate job or try it out (via employment, volunteering, information interviewing)

20 Selling your Masters experience A Masters qualification is not often a key criteria for recruiters, but you can definitely benefit by: Communicating an awareness of how Masters study has enhanced your personal skills and made you a stronger candidate ‘I found that Masters level work allowed me the flexibility and creativity that taught undergrad did not - you have to be much more self reliant and dedicated to your subject. There's no last minute work at masters level, you have to reason and develop your theories over time and be prepared to discuss them in detail with your tutors. Masters courses will bring your analytical and original thinking to the fore.’ ‘What Masters courses excel at is they educate you in ways of thinking around a subject, problem solving and in learning how to make decisions with inadequate time, resources and information. This is real life’ [Bryony Moore – Assoc. of MBAs]

21 Selling your Masters experience Display a strong rationale for why you chose to go on the Masters programme: self-awareness and strategic thinking Sometimes the pay can be a little higher to reflect the qualification Benefits of added study (subject and/or skills) may show in terms of speed of progression through an organisation

22 Staying in Academia Why are you choosing to do this – are the motives positive? Identify research opportunity university networks talk to your tutor Approach department staff (applications are direct to institution) Research funding Research Councils / see literature in Careers Library Consider: range of responsibilities required (teaching / publications / generating income) lifestyle

23 International Students know what you have to offer language skills mobility specialist market/ cultural knowledge consider building up CV through short-term work/volunteering consider employment in home country International JobOnline 23

24 Possible Next Steps… Visit the Careers Service Library 1to1 appointment to discuss your current thinking Reflect on your development via your Masters programme Specialist knowledge Enhanced skills eg research, communication, collaboration, autonomy Perhaps focus aspects of your study programme toward organisations who interest you: develop your commercial awareness, and professional network Job Hunting: Research appropriate resources for your area of interest Research companies to approach Identify personal contacts who may someone who can help you

25 SOAS Careers Service Room G12, main building Russell Square On the at Careers Service On Facebook at SOAS careers service


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