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Approaching the end of your course...what next?

The chance to receive an education is a wonderful thing. To come out at the other end as a successful graduate with a recognised qualification is an equally glorious experience. You've worked hard and achieved something important, now opportunity is ahead of you. 

However, completing your studies is not the finishing line. It doesn't mean everything you want will simply be handed to you, either. To accomplish anything in life, you have to be proactive and positive. In the below article, we look at tips and advice to keep in mind as you prepare to finish your course and chase your dream career.

Take your opportunities

A lot of people sadly believe that opportunity is a regular thing. They think that if they pass something up, the next break will simply come the following week. If you sit and wait for the perfect moment to arrive, you may be sitting and waiting for a long time. Any successful career is worth chasing instead of waiting for it to land in your lap.

When you're fresh out of study, you're eager and, perhaps, at your most impatient. But while you may have time, you need experience. The best time to do internships, volunteer or freelance work is when you're starting out. Use those opportunities to build your work experience and take the chance to make them a stepping stone towards your dream career.

Aim high but remain realistic

A person who lives within their means will probably live a basic life. If you have career goals, they should be bold and exciting, but they will require a lot of hard work and perseverance. Don't be discouraged if you don't start ticking off career goals straight out of your course. Remember, you're at the ground floor and these things can take time. Keep the dream job as your focus, chip away at your goals and keep working towards the dream. Don't expect everything to work out just because you've graduated. 

Do your research - create a long-term plan

So, you have a dream job in mind. Great! Now, you need to find out how to turn that desire into a reality. You should start by researching what you need to do to get from point A to point B. Look at entry-level positions that can lead to this role. Consider the companies where you'd love to be employed and find out about their employment options. Consider roles in different fields that may also lead to your future job.

It doesn't hurt to have a five or ten-year plan. It can help you stay motivated, but don't be upset if you don't meet every goal in your timeframe. We did say that these things take time.

Check job sites, send emails, and talk to people

Job sites are a good way to keep track of current trends in the industry. You can see what roles are available and find out what you need to be able to successfully apply.

Some companies don't have a lot of employment information available on their websites. Sending a polite email to enquire about career options never hurts, but there is a fine line between eager and over-enthusiastic. Getting advice about where to find job opportunities will help you know where to look.

Consider a pathway into further study

When your course is almost over, ask yourself, "Do I have everything I need to achieve what I want in the workforce?" Perhaps you want to add to your skills set or build on your knowledge. Following a pathway into further study is always an option. For example, moving from a diploma into a degree can provide a greater education base for you to use when working in your chosen field. There is no such thing as too much information, and we never stop learning, whether at school, work or simply in life.