Careers Advice Blog

The importance of having a back-up plan

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So you are now in your second year of university, or maybe in your third year and ready to graduate. The issue floating around your mind is: will I get my dream job at the end of it all?

Our lecturers tell us that if we pass all our exams, gain a lot of experience and graduate with a first then we will have no issue with getting a highly paid job into the industry we wish to get into. But after doing a lot of research and speaking to many industry experts, I worry that graduate jobs are spreading thin, no matter what industry you wish to be in. It is going to be very difficult to get where we want to be in life.

If you work hard enough, then I believe that you can do it. But it is time to face the real world and think; after you graduate from university with any form of a grade, do you think you can get into work first time? If all else fails… Do you have a back-up plan?

Is it worth it?

As a journalism student I would love to be an arts journalist or a theatre critic, and having spoken to a range of theatre critics and arts journalists who have a great experience in the industry, they have all said similar things. While it is great to send reviews off to magazines and get your work published; it does not pay well as they have found that their wage has decreased over the years. Put simply, do what you love because you enjoy it and possibly take it as a vocation with something else extra on the side. At the end of the day, you need to put food on the table and if you are doing something you love but it is not paying well, then ask yourself… Is it worth it?

Consider the options

And have a think about what else you could do, broaden your horizons and see what else is out there; you never know, you might surprise yourself. If you are a media student like me, maybe you will find PR or marketing and business as a route to go into. Same if you are a Performing Arts student; why not try being on this side of the stage and becoming a director or a writer in theatre and the arts?

Talk, talk, talk

Finding a back-up plan is not going to be as easy as it sounds, speak to your friends and other people who work in the industry that you wish to work in. Discover what their background is and how they got to where they are now, and it may be useful to ask what their opinions are of you getting a job in the industry. They may be able to help you out.

Of course you do not have to do this alone. There are a lot of careers advisers out there, including the team here at Career Camel, to help you with your back-up plan.

Do you think the importance of having a back-up plan is high? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo: Nomadic Lass / Flickr

Gemma HirstThe importance of having a back-up plan

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