You are going to fin­ish your degree soon and you will be allowed to ride the lion. But you don’t know where it should take you yet? Start­ing a career after uni­ver­si­ty can be intim­i­dat­ing but there are many tips that can help you find your way. 

Shown are arrows on a road intersection pointing in all possible directions.

Espe­cial­ly uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents who start­ed their non-voca­tion­al stud­ies right after grad­u­a­tion will have to face this ques­tion soon­er or lat­er: Which career path do I want to pick? Maybe you are about to fin­ish your degree and still haven’t found an answer. You just start­ed your stud­ies or are in the mid­dle of them and you already have thought about it? No mat­ter what sit­u­a­tion you find your­self in, ori­ent­ing and inform­ing your­self is always worth it. 

Obvi­ous­ly, such a quest always starts with­in your­self. To bring your per­son­al strengths, inter­ests and expe­ri­ences to mind is not only help­ful for your own ori­en­ta­tion but also ben­e­fi­cial for prepar­ing job appli­ca­tions. Career expe­ri­ence is not the only fac­tor that counts. Social, eco­log­i­cal, polit­i­cal and oth­er forms of involve­ment, hob­bies prac­ticed over many years and projects real­ized in your free time play a role as well. The result­ing skills can make you unique. In addi­tion, you should think about your demands that have to be met by your job and employ­er. Should the job just be a source of mon­ey or more than that? Do I pre­fer flat or steep hier­ar­chies? Do I want per­son­al con­tact with cus­tomers or clients? Depend­ing on your answers to these ques­tions, you can find out what you look for in a job and can spec­i­fy your search. 


An hon­est self-assess­ment is a use­ful guide to your dream job. If you have lit­tle to no pro­fes­sion­al expe­ri­ence and would like to try things out first, intern­ships are a very good way to get start­ed. You get to know a pro­fes­sion­al field, get an impres­sion of the expec­ta­tions of every­day work there and you are not tied down for long. An ide­al way to get a taste. If the employ­ee and the employ­er think a long-term coop­er­a­tion is pos­si­ble, there can even be the chance of being hired after an intern­ship. In addi­tion, an intern­ship offers the oppor­tu­ni­ty to gain expe­ri­ence and make con­tacts that can be use­ful even if you decide to take a dif­fer­ent career path or do not get tak­en on. 


The word net­work­ing is con­stant­ly heard when it comes to find­ing a job. And even though there is more to suc­cess­ful­ly choos­ing a career path, in many cas­es it is use­ful to make con­tacts here and there. The obvi­ous rea­son for this is to make it eas­i­er to get a job since ref­er­ences are wel­come in many appli­ca­tion process­es. Addi­tion­al­ly, you learn about jobs that were out of your view previously. 

Intern­ships are not the only places to net­work. In fact, any oppor­tu­ni­ty can be used for this pur­pose. You meet a per­son at a par­ty who works in a field that might inter­est you? Get their con­tact infor­ma­tion and show inter­est. A friend knows some­one who knows some­one? Get intro­duced. Take advan­tage of such ran­dom oppor­tu­ni­ties. Apart from these, you can also pur­pose­ful­ly make con­tacts. Job fairs are a won­der­ful way to not only get an impres­sion of employ­ers but also to intro­duce your­self in per­son. Such an event, the “10. Jobmesse Halle”, will take place on March 19th, 2022 in the SWH.arena. Anoth­er one is the “Chance “, which will take place on April 1st and 2nd, 2022 in the HALLE MESSE. The stu­dent con­sul­tan­cy “Cam­pus Con­tact Halle e.V.” orga­nizes the annu­al fair “cam­pus­meetscom­pa­nies” (@campusmeetscompanies on Insta­gram) to pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties for uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents and com­pa­nies to con­nect. It took place dig­i­tal­ly ear­li­er this year. 

Pictured is a person sitting at a table and biting thoughtfully on a pen.
Online offers 

It is also great to make con­tacts online. Pro­fes­sion­al social net­works such as Xing or LinkedIn are very pop­u­lar. They are designed exclu­sive­ly for mak­ing busi­ness con­tacts and can also be very use­ful for stu­dents. Sim­i­lar to Face­book, you can get an impres­sion of poten­tial appli­cants, boss­es, col­leagues etc., as well as make new con­tacts or dis­cov­er job offers. 

For the lat­ter, how­ev­er, por­tals such as Step­Stone, Mon­ster or Indeed are prefer­able because they are made for find­ing employ­er or employees. 


Tran­si­tion­ing from uni­ver­si­ty into the work­ing world usu­al­ly requires a lot of ini­tia­tive. That can eas­i­ly become over­whelm­ing. If you feel like you don’t know what to do, con­sult­ing an out­sider can help. At the Job­cen­ter in Halle, it is pos­si­ble to make an appoint­ment for a talk. Infor­ma­tion and job offers can also be obtained there. With­in our uni­ver­si­ty the Career Cen­ter acts as an inter­face between uni­ver­si­ty and the work­ing world- just the right place to go regard­ing all mat­ters relat­ed to find­ing a job, the tran­si­tion and any uncer­tain­ties you might have. Apart from per­son­al coun­sel­ing the Career Cen­ter reg­u­lar­ly orga­nizes events. You can find these on StudIP. In addi­tion, the Career Cen­ter offers the ASQ mod­ule “Wege in den ver­bor­ge­nen Arbeits­markt” (engl. “Ways into the hid­den job mar­ket”). The gen­er­al stu­dent advi­so­ry ser­vice of the uni­ver­si­ty can be help­ful as well, espe­cial­ly if you are con­sid­er­ing a Master’s pro­gram. Beyond that, con­ver­sa­tions with fel­low stu­dents or alum­ni of your major can also be inspiring. 

Even if you’re not 100 per­cent sure after fol­low­ing these tips, some­times it is worth it to take the plunge. And if it turns out it was not, that would not be so bad, would it? At least you will know what you do not want to do. 

Image sources: loufre, Buf­fik, Karoli­na Grabows­ka, Rama Krish­na Karu­manchi via Pixabay

Author (Trans­la­tion): Nele Finck

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