Life after Study!

My dissertation was finally submitted a week ago now. I can’t quite believe it is all over. Seems like yesterday since I started this degree and now I’ve finished. It’s a great feeling though and I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my career.

Before I move on – a big thanks to everyone who helped with my research. The project was a lot more challenging than I had first anticipated and finding participants was difficult, but I think my findings were interesting and I hope it will prove useful for those trying to understand why many computer science graduates end up unemployed. I now have a couple of months to wait for the results before I can share my report with those who are interested in reading it and then a few more months to wait before I get to finally graduate (assuming I’ve passed of course!).

So moving on… what happens next?

I haven’t really had much time to think about life after study over the past couple of months. When I left Accenture back in March to focus on completing the degree, I had hoped to build up potential freelance work alongside my studies and although I have had some interesting work over the summer, my dissertation required a lot more of my attention than I had initially anticipated and seeking clients has gone a bit on the back burner. Unfortunately, that means it’s now December, I’ve finished my master’s and I have no more work lined up.

As much as I would like a nice long holiday, I need to get earning again, so this week has been time to take stock, see what opportunities are out there and start getting myself out and about. I’m conscious that decisions often get put on hold over Christmas, so I guess I only have a week or two to try and get myself sorted before the Christmas break. Otherwise I am hoping that January will bring many new opportunities.

I’ve been asked a few times whether I intend to stay self-employed or whether I’m looking for permanent roles now that I’ve finished my master’s. To be honest, I’m not torn either way. Freelancing has been great whilst I’ve needed the flexibility to study, but I’m now more concerned about finding the right role, rather than the type of employment contract that goes with it. I’m considering consulting, interim or permanent roles at the moment and I’ll have to weigh up the options when they present themselves. Most importantly, I just want to find an interesting and challenging project that will build upon my existing experience and let me do what I love – developing people and organisations and solving complex problems. Oh and ideally the role will give me the evidence I need to upgrade to MCIPD as soon as my qualification has been confirmed and verified. I’m keen to upgrade as soon as possible, so that would certainly help.

So, if you know of any interesting opportunities in learning, talent or organisational development, then please let me know! You can find my profile on LinkedIn. I’m particularly interested in opportunities based within the North West or those which could combine remote working with travel, but I’m open to ideas for now so if you have a role for me and it’s elsewhere, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

2 thoughts on “Life after Study!

  1. Gill Phillips, HR Consultant, ENSEK Ltd

    Hi Lesley

    Congratulations on finishing, sounds like you’ve earned at least a couple of weeks off over Christmas!

    Would love to hear the conclusions you drew from your research at some point, sounds a fascinating & very relevant to us HR bods working in software businesses.

    Best wishes for your next career move.

    • Thanks Gill – as soon as I get my results I plan to share my report and some of my findings.

      One of the things I found most interesting was a sense that the narrative around IT skills shortages may actually be contributing to the poor employability of CS graduates. There were a few indications of this – graduates believing some of their peers choose CS degrees for the “wrong reasons” – that they were “only interested in the money” and finding an “easy career” rather than a genuine interest in software development. Also some thinking they would be able to walk into a job, so didn’t take effort to participate in extra curricular activities or to improve their employability in other ways.

      Thanks for your kind wishes on my next career move. Fingers crossed.

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