You have done it, you finally have your degree and it’s time to decide what to do with the rest of your life. You have spent the last 3-5 years gaining all the knowledge that you are keen to put to work but where will that be?

For a large proportion, time will be spent applying for the many graduate schemes on offer. But how do you decide the right one for you?

Each company has a pre-requisite of what type of candidates they want to attract. This not only covers academics but also the values and ethics of the type of people they want to work with in their organisations. Huge amounts of energy and money has been ploughed into ensuring the application process supports picking out the best from the vast amount of applications received.

It is then quite shocking to consider that very few applicants go through this same process for their career choice. Have you asked yourself the following questions?

  1. What do I really want from a job?

  2. What are my work values?

  3. What motivates me to get out of bed in the morning?

  4. Where do I want to be in five years?

  5. What will the company I am applying to give me other than a job?


If you do not know the answers to these questions, it is going to be difficult for you to convince an interviewer that you are clear on your career motivators and really understand what you are taking on. It is a very disheartening start to your career to be rejected for graduate schemes that you really didn’t want in the first place and only applied to ‘just in case’.

Even if you do manage to get through the interview hurdle and are offered a job, how will you know it is the right one for you and for your career if you have not done the pre-work.

It is quite surprising how many people I meet that in their own words “fell into their careers” and are now wondering if there is something else out there. For the graduate who takes time to consider the future, this is a roadblock that can be avoided.