Perhaps the central reason for going to University is that it is supposed to set you up for your adult life and (hopefully) a great career. Of course, with the current state of the economy and a relative dearth of graduate jobs, getting into the profession that you really want has never been more challenging.
Nonetheless, there are still opportunities to be found, you might just have to look a little harder than you would have done two or three years ago. Job sites like reed.co.uk are always advertising opportunities for talented graduates with a variety of companies, which are regularly refreshed. Checking their pool of job roles is a great way of seeing what opportunites are out there.
Another good and well worn path is to go down the teaching English route. TESOL and TEFL are great courses that are relatively cheap and offer the opportunity to work all round the world. Just about any graduate will have the basic skills required – though you might need to brush up on your grammar – and there are thousands of companies offering placements. One of the best is through the British Council, who not only guarantee you a year’s placement, but will also give you all the training and support that you need.
Many other students decide to take gap years after they graduate. There are many reasons for this choice: 1) travelling is always good; 2) you’re likely to be working into your late sixties at least, so it’s good to have some fun before you settle down; and 3) there are interesting opportunities all over the world that you might never get in the UK.
In fact, for some professions, the best advice is simply to get out there and get your hands dirty. Most companies are looking for candidates with experience, and as experience alone is so hard to get in the UK, it’s sometimes cheaper and easier to head abroad and get stuck in.
A final bit of general advice: be prepared to rough it out a little bit. If you get an internship in London, for example, you might find that you have to sleep on someone’s floor just to make ends meet. Most importantly of all, although it might sound a little trite, do things that seem fun and interesting, and you’ll be surprised where you might end up.