I remember when I first started University I would look at the older students (those running labs and tutorials) and think to myself ‘I hope I’ll be as smart as them when I get to their stage’. Cue three years later and I didn’t feel any smarter than I did at first year so I started thinking “was University worth it? What have I actually learnt that will be useful in ‘the real world’?” I doubted very much that knowing how to write an essay would get me anywhere (little did I know) so I left University with no idea what I had actually achieved. Fortunately I found my way and the same will be true for thousands of others but times change and the job market is not what it once was. You do have a fight a little bit harder than 10 years ago. Therefore, it really does pay to stop and think about what you are actually gaining from your time at University. Aside from the obvious knowledge of whatever subjects you are studying there is a whole host of other skills you are learning that you can draw on to market to future employers.

Want to find out what these are? Take the time to sit down (with no distractions) and start with a self-assessment to consider your achievements, skills and abilities, personal values and interests. Then you could try mapping them onto this handy employability skills audit

Employers will always require evidence of your skills so getting to know what these are means you can then match them up with the skill requirements for your target career. If you are having trouble working everything out speak to your University careers office. Don’t do what I did and not even know where the careers office was. Good luck!

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Advice, Career advice, Personal development

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