Is an internship the only way to find the job you want?

Starting to consider graduate jobs is a tough time for most young people.  If you are not one of the lucky ones who knew from the age of seven that you wanted to be a doctor or a scientist,  even deciding when to start can present all sorts of issues.  Even for those who know the direction they want to go in, it is not always easy to know how best to go about it.  Will a graduate scheme be the only way to get a foot on your chosen career ladder?  Or should you start applying for internship positions to build experience and make contacts?
University careers centres can be very helpful with these kind of questions, but turning up with no concept of what you want from your future, and asking them to wave a magic wand and come up with all the answers is unlikely to yield results.  These careers professionals are very well informed about the best way to get into the majority of graduate careers, but are less likely to have a good grasp of your skills, interests and background.  So it is often not worth making appointments with careers advisers until you have at least some concept of what they might be able to help you with, and the sector or roles you are interested in.  This can be as vague as ‘media’, ‘health’ or ‘consultancy’, as the careers advisors will be able to tell you more about the possible roles and graduate jobs that are available in each sector.

It is good to get thinking as early on as possible what the best route in your chosen career might be.  The reason for this is simple – applications for graduate schemes and internship positions can open as early as September in your final year of being an undergraduate.  For those who need to be interning in order to gain experience in their chosen career, it is often advisable to start applying for internships in your first year, so that you can gain experience in every university vacation.  Graduates thinking about law, journalism and advertising will thank themselves later if they have invested this time in gaining contacts and skills during their holidays.  Those interested in more corporate jobs such as accounting and finance will often find that a graduate scheme is the best way in, but your application to one of these is much more likely to be successful if you have completed an internship prior to your application.

Graduate jobs need not be a headache if you invest in a little bit of preparation.  Whether it is internship positions or a graduate scheme that will help you achieve your goals, all you need to do is decide what they are as soon as possible, and you should find yourself on a smooth path to success.

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What is the best way to look for social work jobs?

There are some people who feel vaguely that social work jobs might be for them, but perhaps do not have a very clear idea of what they actually entail.  Those who are honestly thinking about social services jobs might find it useful to give some further consideration to what a career in this sector is really like.  The following article explores day to day life in social worker jobs, and considers how one might go about finding work in this field.

Social workers offer a range of services to those in the community who require their help.  This might involve emotional support, giving advice, or working with the local community to help ensure somebody has the resources to deal with whatever issues they might be experiencing.  For vulnerable people, the complex network of care pathways offered by the state, from medical help to social services and legal advisors, can seem a very complex path to navigate.  Social services jobs are there to ensure that the person in question has somebody ‘in the system’ on their side.

Those who work in this field will find themselves working with various other professionals as a sort of go-between.  A typical example would be a healthcare team for a patient with a long term illness.  A social worker on a healthcare team will be responsible for assessing the patient’s needs based on factors such as educational level, support from friends and family, and financial situation, to enable them to advise the healthcare professionals on how best to care for the patient in question.  They might be able to support the team  with issues such as how to treat the patient, how to interact with them, and how their illness can best be managed.

The majority of people in social services jobs have a bachelors degree in a related subject, and some have a masters or doctoral qualification.  This kind of training can really help to ensure that a social worker has the best possible understanding of how to help the person in their care.  Some practical work experience is also likely to be helpful when looking for vacancies in this field.

With the right attitudes and qualifications, social work jobs should not be overly difficult to come by.  It is worth giving some thought to whether you are interested in social services jobs with children or adults, as some people specialise in one or the other.  There is so much variety in most social worker jobs that one need not be concerned about specialising, the work is sure to be interesting whoever you are working with.

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