This is a guest blog by Jamie Mann from the Jobseeker Forum
As most students often find out the hard way, graduating from university doesn't enable you to walk straight into your dream job.
The truth of the matter is, even after graduating there is still a long, hard battle to get to where you want to be. But with a good battle-plan the dream is still very achievable!
Should I carry on chasing the dream?
Absolutely. But, unless you plan on living with your parents for the foreseeable future, you are going to have to face up to financial necessities like rent, bills and food.
Be realistic in your career plan. If you want to be a physio for Chelsea then get ready to prove yourself in another setting first.
So I should just give it up and work in Tesco until I'm older?
Just because you can't jump straight into your dream career doesn't mean you have to settle for unrelated retail work. There are lots of jobs where you can gain some useful experience, earn some money and develop contacts in your chosen industry.
An aspiring film director might, for example, gain some invaluable experience and contacts working as a runner at a studio.
How do I get from here to there?
It is extremely useful to have a clear, step-by-step strategy to get from where you are now to your dream career. What jobs could you do now to gain some experience and money? How could you develop your skills from other activities in the meantime, such as training courses or volunteer work?
Once you know where you are going and the steps you need to take to get there, it is much easier to live with the more menial hard graft work.
How can I create a plan when I have no idea where to start?
This is where careers advice services come in handy.
It may feel as if the Jobcentre just wants to put you in the first available job opening, or that job sites are only interested if you have experience or want to work in marketing, but there are some careers services that work a little differently.
StudentGems is a careers site developed specifically for students, so they will have a much better idea as to the best first steps than most.
The National Careers Service is another great free resource and their trained advisers can help you create your career plan. Then there are community resources such as the
Jobseeker Forum where you can ask for help and advice from others who have been through the same tough journey and come out the other side.
Whatever path you decide to take remember to keep striving toward your dream career – after all, enjoying your work is like being paid to play all day.