Did you know that most UK graduates are what’s known as “geographically immobile”? This means that once they leave University, around 58% of them remain in the area they studied in, and just under 70% return to their hometown.
Only a handful of students go to work somewhere they aren’t already connected to. It makes sense, really – if you have connections back home or you’ve forged them around your place of study, you’re more likely to find a job in either of those areas.
Plus, you may find that getting onto a graduate scheme is easier if the company in question knows about your University, or is used to hiring graduates from local education providers. Graduate jobs can be competitive, though, and we want you to know that you’re giving yourself the best chance at success.
In this article, the Enrol team have compiled a list of things to remember if you want to improve your chances of finding a graduate job.
Many graduates feel trapped by their surroundings, especially if they’ve been scouted by graduate schemes operating in the immediate vicinity of their University. It’s important to remember that the industry your chosen career fits into may not be as prominent in the area that you studied.
For example, there are a greater number of graduate design jobs in London and the South East, but the competition is greater and the pay won’t stretch as far. Do your research and take other locations into consideration when looking for jobs in your desired sector.
Doing so may be the difference between an entry-level, low-paid post in a huge corporate firm, and a better-paid post at an agency where you’ll be offered the opportunity to hone and grow your skills.
Run the numbers
As mentioned above, pay is an important facet of any job. And, as a recent graduate, you want to give yourself the best start possible.
Although wages in the UK are rising to overtake the average cost of living, it’s still important to look at how much a graduate job will pay you compared to how much you need to be paid.
Remember that although jobs in and around London look like they pay more, the cost of living in those areas is significantly higher than for the rest of the UK. Plus, there are going to be additional expenses you may not have had to consider before, such as:
- Home insurance
- National Insurance Contributions
- Council Tax
- Student loan repayments
Becoming a financial adult isn’t cheap! You may find that your student discount was the saving grace behind your years at University, but now it’s all up to you to save on your own terms. Keep this in mind when applying for graduate jobs, and if you can, look for posts that include little extras like all-expenses-paid travel or guaranteed overtime.
Live, Laugh, Love, Etc…
As a young person in the UK, one of your biggest expenses is likely to be travel. Whether you’ve had a car since the age of seventeen or you prefer to get around by bus, it’s important to consider not only the price of your potential commute – but also how much of your life you’re willing to dedicate to it.
Studies show that people who commute for over an hour each day are more likely to feel depressed, become unmotivated, and suffer work-wise. You need to consider your work-life balance when applying for graduate jobs.
This point does touch on location, again – if you’re choosing a job somewhere new, you’ll need to consider how important social activities are for you and how willing you’ll be to involve yourself in them. Leaving friends and family behind for a new job in a new city can sometimes feel extremely isolating.
In this respect, it’s important to consider a number of more personal factors when looking for a graduate job:
Are you in a relationship? If so, is your partner going to be staying where they are? Long-distance relationships require a level of dedication that you may find difficult to maintain.
The same goes for platonic friendships – how will you deal with leaving your friends behind? If you’re staying local and they’re moving away, are you going to be keeping in touch with them?
Finally, make sure you know and understand the limitations of working with all of these clauses and considerations. You may find a graduate job you know will really help further your career, but it’s somewhere you’ve never been before. Maybe the graduate scheme you’re accepted onto doesn’t pay as well as you hoped it would.
Being open-minded about where you could work and who you could work for will set you in good stead for making the right choice of graduate job.