Graduate Careers Support
Whether you've already graduated or you’re graduating in 2020, we’re here to support you. You won’t stop after graduation; neither will our support.
Congratulations on what you’ve achieved! You have a prestigious degree from one of the world's top universities. During your time at University of Edinburgh you've developed a sound understanding of your subject and so much more.
Some students complete their degree with a clear idea and/or plan for what they want to do next and how to go about it. However, many more are unsure, which is why you can continue to use all of our services for two years after graduation.
In addition to the usual uncertainty graduates face we are also starting to come to terms with the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the world's economy. It’s likely you’re feeling a mixture of worry and uncertainty, but possibly also interspersed with bursts of enthusiasm and drive.
Reliable predictions are not available to any of us right now, but we can bring you the latest updates and insights from employers to help you understand our new normal and the context in which you are planning your future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work, and study. You may find that the changing circumstances impact on your immediate future as employers feel their way forward, and that you must adjust, make new plans, and find ways to manage (and move forward from) disappointment. You may also find that you thrive on this challenge!
There will be challenges, but the economy can, and will, stabilise with new opportunities ahead. The picture will change quickly, so first and foremost we must focus on becoming comfortable with uncertainty.
Initial projections suggest we will experience a short, deep recession in the immediate future but eventually the economy will stabilise. The Careers Service is here to support you to take steps to position yourself appropriately in the changing economy. We are, as yet, unsure what the new normal will be, but we can be sure that the pandemic will have a lasting impact.
But there are some positive indicators:
The graduate labour market is robust and tends to bounce back quickly – the 2008 financial crash and recession is a useful indicator of this
Many businesses are continuing to invest in future talent attraction and adapting their recruitment processes by using technology to conduct interviews and assessment centres – See what jobs are currently being advertised.
Businesses will make strategic decisions and are more likely to delay hiring than stop hiring altogether: the sensible option for many is to wait and see.
Read our Update on Student and Graduate Recruitment for a full overview.
Look after your mental health: you may be torn between putting your head in the sand and applying for every vacancy you see (or the many scenarios in the middle). While all reactions are valid in these unprecedented circumstances, they may be contributing to negative patterns of thought or behaviour – reflect on what makes you feel worse and better and set some boundaries, e.g. catch up with the news once a day, minimise your use of social media, and continue your usual routine as far as is possible. The University has a number of online resources for mental health, some of which have career specific sections, such as the Big White Wall. You can use these after graduation. See this link for more information.
Make an interim plan: that might seem difficult right now, but structure is, and will become, more important to ensure you can continue to take steps towards your career goals. There is an economic downturn, but those have happened before, and there is always new opportunity at the end of it so stay focused. Your plan may only include a couple of points for now but as the situation becomes clearer, you can add to it.
Keep in touch and reach out to your network: People want to help. Let your friends, family, and professional contacts know your current situation, keep in touch, and let them help you. If you’ve lost your job, someone in your network may be about to hire and can approach you with an opportunity – use digital networking platforms like Platform One and LinkedIn to your advantage. This is also a perfect time to reach out to those you’ve lost contact with and reconnect; ask them for their opinions but be wary of asking for immediate favours.