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Career plans: It’s okay to just make it up

Starting your first year at university can come with certain apprehensions. Will you get along with your flatmates? Will you have early morning classes? Will someone steal your food? Add to that concerns about your career and you might as well replace fresher’s fortnight with fresher’s fret-night.

You might be starting university with a detailed career plan, or you might have no idea what you will do afterwards. Maybe you stress about reaching your goals in time, or about having no goals at all. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall at, chances are things will change.

You might be starting university with a detailed career plan, or you might have no idea what you will do afterwards

Everything rarely goes according to plan. Maybe you will work hard for an internship, but realise the job isn’t for you; or perhaps reaching a goal will take longer than you thought, and you’ll have to rethink things.

Whilst thinking about your career can never be a bad thing, planning every step might restrict you from trying new things for fear of affecting your schedule.

Planning every step might restrict you from trying new things for fear of affecting your schedule

There is no formula for success. People start their careers in a number of ways, whether it’s gaining experience whilst studying, or applying for jobs after graduating. When I started university, I knew what I wanted to do eventually, but there was no step-by-step strategy to get me there.

Instead, I felt it better to try different jobs in my area of interest (and some outside as well). This way, you gain transferable skills whilst also discerning exactly what you want to do.

I knew what I wanted to do eventually, but there was no step-by-step strategy to get me there

Ultimately, it’s best to do whatever you’re comfortable with, but if for the moment you have no plan, it’s all right to make things up as you go. You might even learn more along the way.

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