So, you've graduated... What's next?

You've worked hard to earn your degree - but what happens after graduation?

  • Posted Wed, Aug 16, 2023 2:22 PM

Well, you've done it!

You put in lots of hard work for the last few years (and yes, we're sure you did). You've finally put on your cap and gown, walked down the stage, waved to your family, and, with any luck, gone out for chips. So... now what? What do you do now that your course is officially over? If the horrors of being out of education and in the professional world are coming down a little too harshly, don't panic. It's not as scary as it sounds and here at the Union, we're always happy to help. So, what's next for you?

A career?

One of the more important things to remember is that you don't have to get a job in your degree field immediately. If you're able to, take your time figuring out what you want to do. Of course, a relevant role would be great, but don't stress yourself out immediately. It's not a race.

If you are having thoughts about a career, the university have a great Careers and Employability Service who are more than happy to help. They're prepared to offer their services for up to five years after you graduate, so there's no big rush to get your resources. As well as graduate jobs, they can also offer advice on CV boosting, work experience, and - if you have a particular passion for entrepreneurship - how to start up your own business.

As well as our own services, previous Portsmouth alumni have recommended networking, on places such as LinkedIn. Just be careful - some opportunities may seem too good to be true. If you have any doubts, feel free to ask. Our Careers and Employability Service are only an email away.

A place to live?

If you're currently in student housing, this may also be a concern, whether you're in flats or a student house. Most student landlords aren't willing to rent to professionals, due to Council Tax concerns, so you may also be stressing about your new digs.

We know that going back to live with your parents is not an option for everyone, and this for a variety of reasons. However, if this is an option for you, we want to reassure you that there is no shame in this, either. This report from the House Of Commons states that 21% of students in the 2018/2019 academic year lived at home, and that 28% of 20 to 34 year olds living at home with their parents. Obviously, Covid has had a massive impact on this, and we can't really blame people for staying where they're most comfortable, but if this is looking more like an inevitability for you, we can definitely say you're not alone.

If you do want options away from home, we do have our brilliant Housing Support team, who will be happy to offer advice. If you've previously lived with people from your course, it may be an idea to hunt around for professional sharing properties - yes, those do exist! There are plenty easy to use housing webistes that can help you find the most up to date results. If you really don't know anyone, there are websites that can help you find housemates rather than a whole house, but as always, exercise caution.

(It is always worthwhile to consider whether your job can help pay your rent. If you've got used to a bills-inclusive contract, it might be more difficult to get used to juggling bills outside of University life so ask your employer if they can help in any way).

What about the rest of my life?

We're going to let you in on a little secret here - It might feel like a waste of time to go through 3-5 years of university and end up doing something completely different, but it happens more often then you'd think.

Around half of UK graduates in 2014 were in jobs completely unrelated to their degree. We're confident that you picked something you love to do, and, in theory, there are jobs everywhere. But, if you realise that you don't love it, and you want to do something else... you totally can!

If you do love what you do, but you find yourself not enjoying a specific job, it could be down to the workplace itself. If you're not happy, take a moment to figure out why. It could be something easily solved - in which case, pop back to see Careers and Employability and they'll see what they can do to get you to your happy place.

But for now, we're confident that you've loved your time at uni, you enjoyed the field you studied in, and we're even more confident that you're going to have a wonderful time as a professional. So well done! You've definitely earned a break!

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