Studying with the OU, getting higher qualifications and proving that you are capable of bigger and better things is a fantastic way of improving your career prospects right now, but it isn’t a panacea, and there are plenty of other things you can, and probably should do to improve your future prospects right now. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Expand Your Network
Even when you’re extremely well qualified for the position, it still pays to know someone in the industry you’d like to work in. If you have a friend of acquaintanced who can recommend you, then chances are you’ll be looked at more favourably as a candidate from the off. It might not be fair, but for better or worse, it is still, to some degree how the world of employment works.
So, it is certainly worth making an effort to meet people already doing the kind of work you’d like one day like to do.
Fox Your Credit Score
If you want to work in a high flying financial career or an executive position, for example, then you may be expected to undergo pre-employment credit screening and this could really hinder you if you have lots of debts or a low credit score, which means you’ll need to do what you can, when you can, to fix it.
How long does it take to fix your credit? There is no set period of time in which you will definitely fix your score, but if you start doing all of the right things (paying bills on time, settling old debts, etc.), then it shouldn’t be long before you see improvements. Just bear in mind that some bad debts might linger around for as long as seven years, so it’s much better to avoid getting in that situation in the first place.
Volunteer/Intern in Your Industry
Most employers today are looking for a mixture of qualifications and experience when they employ someone new. If you’re studying hard, then the qualification side of things shouldn’t be a problem, but the experience part might, That’s why, if you’re planning to enter a whole new industry, it might be worth volunteering or taking an internship in the sector during your spare time. Just make sure that you don’t overload yourself with too much work – getting the experience can always wait if necessary – your studies should come first.
Brush Up on Your Communication Skills
Having excellent communication skills is something that will very much help you out no matter what career path you plan on taking. If you can communicate, clearly, confidently and concisely, not only are you much more likely to impress in interviews, but you stand a much better chance of advancing up the career ladder too because good communicators are surprisingly few and far between.
Clean Up Your Social Media
Increasingly, employers are looking at candidates’ social media profiles before making hiring decisions. That means, if you have any publically viewable social media profiles, it may be worth doing a little pruning to get rid of those dodgy photos or less than professional rants!
Good luck with your new career, whatever it may be!