At last you’ve handed in that dissertation which has dominated life for so many months! Be proud: finishing it will probably be one of the best things you’ve ever done. With celebrations underway, you might have noticed the theme of conversations having shifted from ‘when am I ever going to finish this thing’ to: ‘what next?’

It’s an exciting time, but it can be quite unnerving too, especially when some people seem to have their next steps all sorted and some even have jobs lined up…

So here are a few tips on how to approach this next stage:

  1. If you’re unsure what direction to take, give yourself some time to reflect on your interests and what it is that you enjoy or are motivated by. If you haven’t already done so, take a look at the career planning section of the LSE Careers website, where you will find links to career matching tools including Prospects Planner.
  2. Consider your subject specific career options , but also think about other career choices that might be open to you. Do plenty of research and get out and talk to people – make use of LinkedIn to connect with alumni working in the field you are interested in.
  3. Think about what your transferable and subject-specific skills are. All experience is good experience. Think about what challenges you faced and how you overcame them. What skills did you develop, including your dissertation?  What training did you receive? This will all be really helpful when it comes to completing applications and preparing for interviews.
  4. Use CareerHub to search for opportunities. You can also ‘follow’ employers/organisations you’re interested in and set your preferences to get the most out of your search. It’s also worth making a start identifying other useful jobs boards, newspapers and trade publications. Many jobs aren’t advertised so, depending on the sector, you might also want to explore avenues for speculative applications. You can find sector specific vacancy information on the LSE Careers employment sector pages.
  5. If you’ve really enjoyed your MSc and the process of doing research for your dissertation, you may be consider doing a PhD or further training. If so then book an appointment via CareerHub with one of our careers consultants for advice, and talk to PhD students and academics to find out more.
  6. Put together a plan. If things don’t work out, have the courage to leave what isn’t working behind – and try something new which might.

Whatever stage you’re at, LSE Careers is here to help and we’re open year round – good luck!