So here we are. Another new year, and it’s fair to say that big changes are on the horizon for all of us. But, whatever happens in the wider world that might seem beyond our control as individuals, it’s important to remember that you are in control of your own destiny, and you can take positive steps to improve your chances of being successful in whatever you choose to do.

So here are our FOUR BIG TIPS to help you prepare for a successful 2017 and beyond:

  • 1) Know your goals

What do you want to do with your life? It’s easier to get there if you know what you’re aiming for. If you’ve got an idea of what career you want, have you had a look at the kind of jobs that are available? A bit of research may uncover some interesting career paths that you weren’t aware of, and also give you an idea of how to develop the skills that employers are looking for.

If you have no clue what you want to achieve, we can help at Careers. Make an appointment with a Careers Consultant to discuss your options.

  • 2) Gain experience

Pretty much any work experience will be valuable and useful to you – even if it just shows you what types of jobs you’d rather not do! As well as giving you an insight into how an organisation works, it’s a great way of developing your range of transferable skills such as team working, professionalism and commercial awareness (see our guide to all the most popular employability skills here).

There are loads of ways to gain experience, including volunteering, a part-time job, summer internships and industrial placements. We can help you find these opportunities, so get in touch to find out more.

  • 3) Go the extra mile

Employers want the best candidates to fill their jobs, so how can you show them that you’re the best?  When have you put that extra effort into an activity that has set you apart from the crowd? This could be academic achievement (such as top marks in class or awards and scholarships), but there are always opportunities to stand out in whatever you do. You could enter competitions (ones related to your subject ideally), take on a role in a society or the student union, or volunteer, fundraise and campaign. Look around you and ask yourself “can I make this better?” and if the answer’s yes, then DO IT!

  • 4) Pursue your passion

If you are passionate about the subject you are studying then that’s the ideal scenario- if you love the thing you do then it will never seem like work. And if there’s a specific aspect of your subject you really enjoy, can you do that more? Could you do a Masters or PhD in it?

If you’re not crazy in love with the thing you’re studying –don’t worry, a lot of people aren’t– the good news is that gaining a degree will open the door to a wide range of possible jobs and experiences that aren’t necessarily related to your subject. However, if your passion is for one of your hobbies or interests, your commitment and enthusiasm for this could actually help you get a job. For example, playing football regularly in a league shows dedication, teamwork and loyalty– all things that employers are likely to be looking for. Similarly, making and selling crafts shows creativity, commercial awareness and marketing skills that could help you stand out. It’s even possible that your hobby could turn into your career in the right circumstances, but whatever happens, it’s good for your work/life balance to have interests away from your career.

If you want to chat to us about career planning, gaining work experience or anything else, please give us a call on 01274 234991, email us, or pop in to see us in Student Central at City Campus or in the Careers Hub at the Emm Lane Campus.