Manager of the legal and compliance division at Robert Walters Hong Kong
Be prepared to make a decision
I have been back in Hong Kong for three months now and still struggling to land a job after finishing my degree in business management overseas. I have applied for different internship and graduate training programmes and had some interviews. My problem is I really don’t know which industry I like most. I’m so scared that if I work in the wrong industry, I’ll never be able to get out. How do I know which one is best for me? I think interviewers realised I was a bit lost in the final interviews that I always seem to fail in the final round. Should I just take whatever is offered to me and be grateful? I’m so lost; could you please give me some suggestions?
Choosing your career is undoubtedly one of the single biggest decisions anyone will make in their lifetime. You must therefore prepare well.
Internships are a good way of getting a feel for an industry, as well as to start building your professional network. You should gain work experience as early as possible, especially if you are attracted by a number of different industries, rather than having one clear ambition.
You will need to show good reasoning for why you are interested in a particular role, and you must reflect this both in your application and at interviews.
Your university will have career advisers that you can contact even as a post-grad. They will be able to tell you what others with your qualifications have gone on to do. Make sure you also seek the advice of others who have had a positive influence on your life such as teachers, family and friends.
That being said, you will learn a lot about different industries through the interview process.
While you must be prepared and show ambition and focus to the interviewer, it is okay to actually be considering a number of different options. Comparing and contrasting will allow you to gather a fully educated perspective.
Do not be afraid to make mistakes. You are at a very early stage of your career, so there is plenty of time to rectify one or two bad decisions. If you feel something is right for you, then give it your full effort and reassess after a year or so. You will regret the things you did not do much more than not taking an opportunity that you thought was potentially right.
The truth is there are a huge number of options available. Only by investigating them will you learn what works for you. This is why you must start that investigation process as early as you can, and when you find what you think is right, give it your full effort.