People often choose careers on the flimsiest basis. Because their Dad was one. Because they like the idea of wearing a suit or a wig. Or because they can’t think of anything else.

So how do you know if you are picking a career for the wrong reasons?

Choosing a grad program because you get an extra year or two of study

Some friends of mine chose law because it would enable them to defer getting a job for another year. That’s right, they made a decision that would affect the rest of their lives because they wanted to spend another two years sitting around in their pyjamas being a student.

Most of them spent the rest of their careers regretting that decision.

Because a particular company hosted a drinks party at your university

I applied for X company. Why? “Because they gave me some free drinks”. Big companies know that drinks work well with students. And that free drinks work even better. But should you really commit to devoting some of the best years of your life to a company just because they spent £10 on a couple of pints of beer? No. You should not. Your bank account may be low but your future self is worth more than £10, okay? 

Because everyone else is…


Grad ProgramThis is not a good reason. Just because everyone else is talking about working at KPMG doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

The chances are that those around you are just as clueless as you. They are subject to the same pressures and marketing as you.



Because you are in a rush to secure something (anything)

As university wears on it can seem as if everyone around you has figured it all out. They have job offers. They may even know who their boss will be. They are starting to figure out where they’ll be living and how they’ll be getting to work. And maybe you’re starting to worry you’ll be left behind. Well, here’s the thing, you won’t. You are still seriously young and you probably need to chill out.

Because you can always do something else after

This is not a reason to select a graduate scheme at a company. In my experience, top students don’t give enough thought to what ‘it’ is. Why not start doing something that interests you now? What issues and causes really interest you? Why wait to find something that floats your boat?

Because they have good looking people on their website

You know those are stock images, right? 😉

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