Jen joined the central government graduate scheme, before going travelling for two years. She returned to the UK and is now a project manager in the NHS.
After I graduated I started a PGCE. About halfway through I decided teaching wasn’t for me but completed the course anyway. Once I’d finished my PGCE I temped for a while before getting a junior position in the civil service. I applied for the central government graduate scheme (genuinely believing they didn’t employ northerners) and they called my bluff by giving me the job. I did that for two years before leaving the UK to go travelling abroad.
When I returned to the UK I moved back home and temped for a while before moving to a bigger city where the job market was more buoyant. I got a temporary job as a PA in the NHS and was then asked to take on a project management role they had been unable to fill. Two years later I was recommended for another project management role and I’ve been in my current role for about three and a half years. I didn’t really have a career plan so I’ve ended up in my current role by accident rather than design. I don’t think I really understood my own strengths until quite recently which explains my rather curious career path.
My remit is to redesign and implement modernised and more cost-effective health services. My job is to modernise services and agree common standards and protocols across the region so we can make savings without compromising the quality of the service. I enjoy the variety and like the fact that I am free to manage my own work (within reason!). I sometimes get frustrated by the politics of the NHS and the egos of some of the medical staff.
I would advise other students to not be in a rush to get started on a ‘career’. Some of the most interesting people I know still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up, or have had more than one ‘career’. Delaying your entry into a career is no bad thing.
Some of the most valuable life and communication skills I learnt have been in the `worst` jobs I’ve had (e.g. hospital cleaner, betting shop cashier). Take time to invest in personal development as it will give you some really valuable insights about yourself and will contribute to helping you work out what your future career might be. And don’t forget to have hobbies. Not only will they help you develop ‘soft’ skills, they’ll also help you be more rounded and help combat stress in the work place.
This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.