Paul Murphy, author of the recently published book ‘1000 Years of Careers Advice’, which contains 370+ pages of tips and career advice, writes on what some of the top tips he uncovered are. The below is just a small cross-section of some the advice in the book.
The book interviews 100 graduates 10 years on from university about their career paths and imparts their advice for a younger generation.
1) Research the jobs/career paths available to you from your degree; what graduates of that degree end up doing ten years later, and what is the long-term earning potential.
Lots of the interviewees concentrated very hard on their exams in university, putting only a fraction of that effort into researching jobs. They applied to lots of jobs after graduating; often taking the first one they were offered with little knowledge of possible career paths. In hindsight, the interviewees would have researched their options more. Such as thinking about what doors will this job open/close? How much will this career pay in 10 years time? Where will I be able to work in 10 years time – countryside, or will I have to live in a city? Can I travel with this career?
2) If you don’t know what to do, don’t worry. You will find your path. Try different things out; it may take a few years to figure out what you like, but it will all work out in the end.
Very few people find out what they enjoy doing for a career in their 20’s. It will take time. The interviewees advise trying out as many different roles/companies as you can. That way you will find out what you like and don’t like. The people in my book have changed jobs and industries until they found a role they liked. The main thing is to keep learning something new and enjoying your work, if you can do that, everything else will work itself out.
3) Do something you enjoy doing. You will excel at it; as you won’t see it as work.
Looking back, one of the biggest regrets people interviewed had was that they didn’t pursue something they liked more for their career. They chose careers that paid well, were prestigious or that their friends were doing. Now, after ten years of working in those careers, they realise they don’t really like their jobs, but don’t want to go back and start all over again.
4) Go live and work abroad. You will experience different cultures, get a different perspective, and get great life experience.
This was a big recurring theme in the interviewee’s advice. The best time to go abroad to work is in your 20’s. Once you hit 30, life gets in the way, weddings, mortgages, kids, etc. Several people advised to get a couple of years’ work experience at home under your belt and then go abroad. You will then be very employable with that experience. Some of their friends who tried to get work in other countries with no work experience struggled.
Get your copy of the book here from Amazon, either as an eBook or hard-copy.