How to secure a career future even if you didn’t like what you studied in poly or ITE

Don’t feel like you’ve got a career future? Sometimes, what you’ve been doing in school just doesn’t get your blood pumping anymore. Say you’ve chosen to go into your course when you were sixteen or seventeen, it’s highly plausible that you might have lost interest in it. But now you’ve graduated, with a degree that you feel disconnected from (yes, we can hear you gulping).

What do you do? Suck it up? That’s definitely one route you could go down. Well, we’re pretty sure your face scrunches up at the thought of slogging it out in a less than satisfactory job for the next few years. Likewise, we wouldn’t want to be working in a job we wouldn’t enjoy. The age-old stereotype of having to stick to a job related to your degree is slowly being dispelled, with many graduates either from poly, ITE, or university, straying from ‘conventional’ paths.

The great thing is that studying something you didn’t enjoy, doesn’t mean you’ll be trapped by that degree, unable to enter an industry you DO enjoy. It’s actually great that you know what you DON’T want. That way, you’ll be able to follow these steps to secure a career future!

Four steps to secure a career future

It might seems as though you’re in a stage of purgatory now, but fret not! Think about what options you have post graduation. If you’re looking to search for a more interesting career future, open up those channels by scouring job portals. On the other hand, you could also pursue side hobbies and projects while figuring what path you’d like to traverse. Here are five steps that we recommend for all those feeling a little lost:

Figure out what you want

Okay, so you’ve decided that the route you chose isn’t the one for you anymore. Now what? Well, this is when you sit down with yourself and reflect on your likes and dislikes. Were there some parts of your course that you enjoyed? What were some common characteristics of those modules or classes?

We recommend drafting up a pros and cons, or likes and dislikes list. Doing this will help you to visualise better the areas in which you’re interested in. These don’t have to be academic! For example, if you’re into art or tech, these hobbies might be able to open some doors for you with regards to career prospects. Also, think about activities you’ve done outside of school. Were there any internships or part time stints that you enjoy? This is the time to learn about your own passions, before learning to convert them into a career.

Keep up with the times

Now that you’re out of school, do some research on the job market! If you have an inkling of which industry you’d like to enter, take a look at the requirements needed for specific roles in that industry. For example, you might have been a computing student in polytechnic with a flair and passion for graphic design. If that’s the case, pick up software skills such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to boost your resume. These hard skills will be able to help direct you towards a more secure career future.

On the other hand, if you’re unsure of what you want to pursue, picking up new skills might be a good place to narrow down your search. Doing this not only allows you to boost your marketability, but also allows you to broaden your horizons. You might just find a hidden passion lurking near the surface!

Cast your net wide

Now, put those new skills to the test! You’ll need experience in these new fields if you’re going to secure a career future. This could be done through internships, full-time offers if you’re able to obtain employment, and part-time work. Leveraging on these opportunities can not only help you to gain more experience in the sectors you’re interested in, but also fuel your connections!

Of course, casting your net wide includes online and offline networking. If you want to secure your career future, start by establishing a strong online presence on networking platforms. LinkedIn is the best place to set up base. By linking up with past colleagues and schoolmates, you’ll be able to expand your network further. Don’t be afraid to connect with strangers online. One tip we have would be to add a note along with your invitation to connect, explaining what you’d like to know from them about their line of work.

But don’t forget offline networking! Platforms such as Meetup, are spectacular ways to connect with aspiring professionals with the same goals as yourself. You could even join a couple of professional Facebook groups as a start. If you have the drive, the possibilities to secure your career future are endless!

Want to know how to get started on online networking? Click here.

Go back to school

Finally, if you feel like there’s still much to be explored academically, consider going back to school! Sometimes, going back to school might create avenues for you to explore you likes and dislikes. The variety of modules offered in tertiary institutions cover a breadth of topics. So there will be no shortage of opportunities to explore should you choose to hit the books again.

Whether it’s pursuing a degree at a local or private university, or exploring more niche majors in specialised schools like SHATEC and LaSalle, starting tertiary education might help you figure out the right career path. Moreover, heading back to school will also grant you a degree or higher certification. This added certification under your belt will also help to secure a better start to your career.

Ready, get set, go get that career!

Not liking a course you spent three to four years slogging out for might make you feel like you’re at your wits end. Well, this disillusionment is perfectly normal! One thing to remember is that the past is the past. If you can’t turn back the clock, look forward! By taking charge of your own career future, you’ll definitely be able to carve a path out for yourself.

If you’re looking to cultivate a hidden talent of yours, take a look at the internship and job opportunities we have at our marketplace.

Link to Glints Singapore website