For many graduates leaving UK and European universities this spring, there is going to be the inevitable debate about what to do in their professional lives. While there are some graduates who leave with a clear purpose owing to their fields of study, such as medical and other vocational graduates, most have degrees that don't offer a clear line to one specific professional choice. These graduates shouldn't worry themselves, however, as there are a number of positions that offer broad experience without requiring a long term commitment. Indeed, these types of positions can act as a bridge between university and the professional world.
Perhaps the most popular job for undecided graduates is that of customer service representative. Banks, retail outlets, and other companies that sell a large volume of goods and services require enthusiastic and driven professionals to help deal with customer issues. Typically, these positions are housed in large call-centres or storefronts where people call or drop by to ask questions or explain concerns. The customer service representative position is notoriously short-lived, as most people in these positions are graduates who need to pay bills before getting their first permanent job.
However, graduates should look at these types of experiences as valuable, especially in terms of dealing with diverse customers and clients. Depending on the motivation of the graduate and their background, there are often temporary positions with non-profit organisations that may be very rewarding. Many of these positions include general office work, field work, such as trying to solicit donations from the public, and other tasks for a particular organisation. These jobs are typically taken by public service-oriented graduates, although anyone with the drive and the inclination towards these jobs should consider them. Whether it is a local charity or an international fund to fight poverty, non-profit positions can build great work experience and be intrinsically rewarding at the same time.
Graduates who want to gain experience working with people on a one-on-one basis could consider a position as a personal banker. These positions, typically given to intelligent and enthusiastic graduates, may be longer term than the aforementioned positions. However, many of the people in personal banking jobs come from a variety of backgrounds and use the experience as a way of working one-on-one with people.
Indeed, there are few better ways to learn how to work with people than in the banking field, where clients are confiding in you in respect of their financial problems and information. Of the positions mentioned here, personal banking may be the best for those looking for a reliable and rewarding position long term.
Stephen Trigg is the CEO of Quanta Consultancy Services, a Resource Management Company specialising in SAP Jobs and Oracle Jobs.