What to do after graduation from university

Have you graduated from Studentville with a shiny new degree, but no clue what your next move will be? The Mix breaks down your options for what to do after graduation from university, from the tempting postgraduate course, to the coveted perfect job and the gap year travelling.

boy hiding behind money

"If I hide behind these notes, maybe I'll never have to pay them back?"

Finding the perfect job after university

You may not have been quick off the mark in applying for jobs but that doesn’t mean you can’t get one, and a good one at that. First visit your University careers service or local job centre and make sure your CV is up to scratch, then start to scour newspaper job supplements and job websites. Also contact organisations you’d like to work for to see if they have any suitable vacancies. If you find a job you love the look of, brush up on your application and interview skills and apply away.

The work-your-way up job

If the jobs in your area are looking fairly dull why not take a job lower down the ladder but for a company you like and try to work your way up. If nothing else the job should offer you networking opportunities by the glassful and you can always keep an eye/ear out for a better position.

Temping and agency work

While temps get little by way of job security, they do get good work experience and half-decent pay. There’s also a very real possibility that your job could turn permanent. Sign yourself up to a temping agency and let them find the work for you, but do remind them of your existence if the work offers are few and far between. Pick an agency by recommendation if you can, there are a few rip-off merchants out there. Check out our guide to temping and agency work here.

Doing a year abroad

Whether you just can’t decide what to do after graduation, you regret not taking a gap year or you just fancy some time off before settling down to the world of work, a year abroad can be beneficial to you and your CV. Volunteering on an overseas project, doing a TEFL and teaching English, or just going away to get some perspective on your career goals, it’s all good if you can afford it. Take a look at our gap years, work and studying abroad resources for more information.

Start your own business

Fancy being the next Branson? Becoming an entrepreneur is far from impossible so long as you take your time and plan well. We’ve got an article on how to start your own business here. Contact The Prince’s Trust or Livewire for advice and a possible loan or grant.

Becoming a freelance

If you don’t mind some hard graft but hate the thought of all those office politics, then maybe freelancing is for you. There is plenty of scope to earn good money freelancing, but it’s rarely the case that you will do so immediately. Making contacts and getting contracts can be near on impossible for those starting out, which is why it may be worth doing the nine-to-five slog first, and getting to know the right people before you take that plunge.

If going freelance appeals to you, two articles that might help are our networking tips and our guide to becoming self employed.


This can be a great option whether you work for free to do a dream job or you’re just boosting your CV while you make up your mind on what you really want to do. Make sure you can afford to volunteer, there’s no point starving yourself for the privilege. Learn more in our volunteering hub.

Further study

It might feel like the last thing you want to do right now, but further study can be useful for some careers. To find out if more study is the right move for you, check out our postgraduate study article.

Next Steps




Updated on 29-Sep-2015