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Securing your first job

When you’re starting out, thinking about your career can be quite daunting. Careers are often not linear routes and there is no single pathway into each job. There will be thousands of jobs out there that you don’t even realise exist, and new jobs are being created all the time.

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Your first job can pave the way for the rest of your career, helping you identify your strengths in the workplace, observing the environment and understanding what you do and don’t want to do on a daily basis.

Top tips for taking the first step

  • Seek professional advice from careers advisers or recruiters
  • Research research research – knowledge is power
  • Talk to friends and family; find individuals working in the career you’re interested in and have a chat to find out what the job is like
  • Understand the different sectors that you could work in
  • If you’re studying, seek support from your education institution – they may have dedicated careers services to help you
  • Consider visiting your local job centre; work coaches can guide you through the process and offer support in where to search for a role
  • Consider the salary you need to be able to live, and be realistic in your expectations
  • Consider doing a short-term internship to get a better idea of what you want to do
  • Identify your transferable skills
  • Understand your passion and know what you don’t want to work in – that can be just as important
  • Build up your interview experience

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IEMA is the membership body for environment and sustainability professionals