‘What one tip would you give a disabled graduate who hasn’t found the right job yet?’

Looking for that first job after graduation can be difficult. It’s something that’s not often talked about, but after all the focus on final year tasks and graduation, looking for work while not knowing when you’ll land the right opportunity can be confusing, disorientating and depressing.

Within the AGCAS Disability Task Group, we each decided to share our one best piece of advice for anyone in this situation.

If you have any advice that you’d like to share or questions you’d like to ask, please feel free to write in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

My top tip would be not to panic!  It may feel overwhelming and stressful to not have a job lined up, but it is important to remain calm and positive (as much as possible!)  – finding the right job for you is better than taking the wrong job, even if that takes a little bit more time and patients!  Use all the resources available to you and make contact with your Careers Service for support and guidance.  The Careers Service is there for you to use after graduation – so use us!

Lyn Kane, Careers Consultant, The University of Edinburgh

Write down 3 things that are most important to you in a job. This might be: location, salary, progression, chance to do a qualification, making a difference, meeting new people, trying out a new industry, or using your degree. When you look at vacancies, make sure that the 3 areas you picked are present. This will mean your next job is sure to have some aspects that you know you will enjoy.

Edmund Lewis, Careers Consultant, University of Westminster

Please don’t panic, and certainly don’t give up too soon. Many graduates take a while to find their first job after graduation, and you need to remember that you will still be able to apply for graduate roles and schemes for up to 3 years after you graduate. I have worked with many graduates who took a long time to find their first graduate role, but got there in the end. To keep yourself motivated, think of three things that would make you a great employee, make a note of them somewhere (on your phone, a Post-It note, whatever works for you) and keep reminding yourself about what you have noted down when the going gets tough

Alison Skellern, Careers & Employability Consultant, The Open University

People who achieve great things have drive to succeed, but very rarely actually get there on their own without a lot of help from other people – so find people who can help you succeed in your specific situation. For example, if you’re not sure how to get into a specific industry with a specific disability, consider looking on LinkedIn or Twitter for people you can ask for advice, such as –

1) Professionals in that sector who have that disability (e.g. look at LinkedIn groups, Twitter profiles)

2) Recruiters in that sector you can speak to for advice.

3) Professionals who work in disability specific recruitment, e.g. at organisations such as EmployAbility, Blind in Business, National Autism Society, Exceptional Individuals

While it can take time, not only do these conversations give insight but once people know you and what you’re looking for it can often lead to other good things too.

Christian Jameson-Warren, University of Nottingham

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