You’ve worked hard over the last few years, you're about to graduate (or have recently left university) and you still feel like you have no real direction for your career.
Don’t stress. Just because you studied one particular subject, it doesn't mean you absolutely have to pursue a career in that industry. After all, some degrees can be kind of ambiguous or offer no set career path.
So, if you’re already considering a career that is unrelated to your degree - that’s ok! There are a few steps you can take to help you land your first exciting role:
1. Get some work experience
One helpful step, especially if you're still at university, is to get yourself some work experience in your new chosen industry. This can be done in a number of ways — through a part-time job, an internship or some temporary volunteer work.
This will give you something to add to your CV and help to build up your knowledge and skills within your chosen industry.
2. Start a side hustle
A side hustle is a great way to get some experience and start strengthening your skills in your chosen area.
It’s the perfect way to bolster your CV and give you something to talk about should you interview for a job unrelated to your degree.
For example, if you’ve studied history at university but now you want to start a career in marketing or content creation, starting a blog or doing some freelance writing can help to get you there.
3. Grow your network
While ‘what you know’ is always important, sometimes ‘who you know’ can be equally beneficial.
If you want to pursue a career in an industry unrelated to your degree, it’s a good idea to start growing your network and getting to know those within the industry you want to move into.
You can do this using social media, going to industry events and tradeshows or using professional networking sites like LinkedIn to comment on industry posts and hot topics.
4. Use your CV to sell yourself
When you're looking for a job, in particular one that is unrelated to your degree, your CV is your biggest and most beneficial tool. This is the first thing a recruiter will see and is your chance to make a good first impression.
When the time comes to submit your first application, you can sell any transferable skills you’ve learnt in your newfound experience, through side hustles or from your degree. Use clear and persuasive language to do this.
Your cover letter can come in handy too. Use it as your chance to explain why you’re so passionate about your chosen industry and how your skill set, personal attributes and knowledge make you a good fit.
Are you ready to find your new job?
It’s all too easy for graduates to fall into the trap of thinking they need to find a job in the industry they’ve studied.
Just because you’ve spent three (or perhaps more) years studying something, it doesn't mean you can’t change your mind. After all, it’s likely you’ll have gathered some transferable skills and real-world experience during that time!
The world is your oyster, so make sure to follow your heart and use the steps above to help you get a job that's unrelated to your degree.
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.
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