I am opening a new category in our blog dedicated to the questions of career in the UK. This post is the first one among the series of articles about starting a career, and today I will write about 3 key principles a graduate needs to know if one wants to build a career in the UK.
There are two general categories of workers: professionals and entrepreneurs. The former are those, who build their career in already existing companies, and are employed by someone. This, however, doesn’t mean that professionals cannot achieve high senior-level/leading positions. The latter are the group of those, who prefer to run their own company, start their own business. And this is absolutely different career way, which we are going to discuss later. Sharehoods is also a start-up, and we definitely have someone to say and share about running a start-up. It happens quite often that people switch within these two categories. Having acquired enough experience, some open their own companies; whereas others become external consultants after quitting their businesses.
Internship is an essential stage of a career of any graduate. Basically, at the time of the 8% unemployment rate, with 1.02 million unemployed young people aged 16-24 around the country (BBC), internship becomes the most realistic if not the only way to start a career.
It is important to note that careers in England are built according to certain principles which differ from those on the post-soviet territory. First of all, it rarely happens that people get a position, which doesn’t match/exceed their level of experience/qualification. It is thus almost impossible to find a 20-year old youth on the high-senior level in the company. He should either be an exceptionally hyper active talent, who managed to get lots of relevant experience during his studies. Or he’s launched his own start-up and assigned the managing position to himself. But the best thing about English companies is that if your skills and experience fit the requirements of the position, then you have your chance to get it.
But in order to get some experience an internship is needed.
Internships can be made at almost every company of any industry. They can be paid or unpaid, short or long term, with an opportunity of further employment or without.
Certainly, the short term paid internship with an opportunity of further employment sounds like the best option in this list, but other combinations can also be advantageous. It depends on the company a lot, as even an unpaid internship in the international company with the established brand can bring more weight to your CV than your academic qualification, and open more opportunities for further career.
That’s why it is necessary to think strategically, and this is the second principle of building a career in England. You need to understand the industry you want to work in and do certain steps to enter it long before graduation. Thus, students who want to build a career in politics start with student unions and tend to achieve leading positions there. Application process for most of graduate internship programs also starts early, usually in mid-October and decisions are made in January, 4 or 8 months before the program actually starts.
The third principle is closely interrelated with the previous two and is about following a determined career way. Rarely people here turn 180 degrees and move from one industry to another. Such thing most likely to happen at the entry level, when a graduate is evaluated more by his skills and abilities rather than experience. It will be much more difficult to make such transfer on a later stage as careers in England are built slowly and gradually. Promotions do not happen every half a year as positions do not open often. That is why it often happens that when professionals from other countries arrive here, they automatically get a lower position and need to wait for the relevant one to become vacant.
The next blog post in this section is about various ways of getting a paid internship. Follow the updates.