Career Myths

We know that the most powerful influencers out there are you guys.  When we ask students why they decided to use the careers service or to get work experience they always cite friends and peers as the reason.

This is great, but there are some interesting rumours going round that need to be tackled.

All work experience is in London, so if you live there its dead easy.
This is so not true.
Yes some companies are based in London and have no regional offices, but if you think getting work experience in them is easy think again, have you any idea how competitive those positions are? As anyone living in london will tell you it costs a small fortune to commute into and across the capital – few people actually live near their work. So looking in the regions is often a much easier and less costly option.

Looking at current work experience type vacancies not including part time jobs there were 50 in london, 80 in the NW and 129 in the UK & Ireland not including London. ( Not to mention the overseas ones) Check vacancies in our database CareersLink or get them emailed to you, so that you keep up to date with the latest opportunities.

Jobs in your local area especially if its not a university town may be far less competitive and offer some really valuable experience. Jobs in smaller businesses often give you more responsibility.

All work experience is unpaid
Not true

It’s an issue (one the government is starting to look at). Some industries have been able to get away with this because work experience is so crucial that people are willing to do it for free.  Volunteering is one thing, it’s for a charity and thats fine, work shadowing where you are just in for a few days observing is also fine. The work you are doing should not replace the work of a paid member of staff.  Find out more about your rights here. 

We advertise paid work, we won’t advertise vacancies that we believe are not in your best interests see our vacancy advertising policy.

I don’t have a personal tutor.

You all have one, some are very proactive and others not so much. Seek yours out – you will need an academic reference for jobs or courses in the future.

People only get work experience through personal contacts.

Personal contacts are an excellent way to find experience or arrange work shadowing, you can in some cases be lucky and circumvent the normal advertising channels. 

 Unfortunatly not all of us have a contact in every industry in the world and you will miss out on some excellent opportunites if you only talk to friends and family. There are hundreds of work experience and placement opportunities advertised every year and many students don’t even bother looking so go on take a look maybe you will be suprised.

Applying for graduate schemes is a waste of time and energy

Yes the application forms are long.
Yes you may have to go through several selection stages.
Yes at the end of that you could be rejected.

If the job is not worth that to you then, no a graduate scheme in a top company may not be for you.  Motivated candidates (the ones the companies are all looking for) may put in 20 or more applications.

Exceptional applicants – the ones who really put effort into their applications stand a better chance of being selected more frequently and are often in the position of having to decide between multiple job offers.  They are normal people just like you, they just know how to do their research and sell their skills at application and interview.

Fairs and events run by the careers service are not for me, they wouldn’t be interested in people from my subject.

We know that you are serious about the subject you study but it can be hard in some cases to see which careers it leads into.  (Yes we are aware that much of the “what you can do with your degree” information out there can be a little generic  – not everyone wants to teach!)

Don’t be put off if an event doesn’t scream geography or psychology student at you, (though we do some targetted events in schools) many events are suitable for a very wide range of degree subjects because you have great transferable skills and can go into any number of career areas. 

  • Look at recruiters websites to find out what their business is really about and what roles they recruit for – even engineering firms have HR and marketing functions so don’t be put off.
  • Use  prospects occupational profiles to find out what a job involves and typically what degree subjects are recruited.

The Careers Service only advertises jobs with big corporates
Again untrue.

Big recuiters may a big impact when they come on campus – you may have seen them in your department or in a tent  or bus somewhere. They are the minority of vacancy advertisers, but most people only look at names they recognise. we have some great opportunities on our database that no one even looks at simply because they don’t know the name of the company.  You are really missing out, some jobs never get filled!

It’s too late for me, the successful people all had work experience before they came to university.

Ok some people take a gap year or have significant work experience before they come to university, they are not really that typical so why bother comparing yourself to them.

It is a good idea to get stared in your first year either being active in clubs and societies, volunteering or getting a part time job. There are limited opportunities to do formal ” placements or internships” in your first year but it doesn’t stop you getting other vacation jobs.  You will need something on your CV when looking for a prefinal year placement.

If you think you might have heard a career myth get in touch and we can tell you if its fact or fiction.

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