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How can I find the best job for me after graduating in a recession?

The word recession is enough to strike fear into any aspiring business person, let alone a graduating student.

For many of the current crop of graduates, looking for jobs in current climate will seem like a daunting task, especially as the country battles the uncertainties of a global pandemic and an exit from the European Union.

It’s our role to advise our candidates on how to stand out among the rest of the field, even during difficult times like this.

Our own Senior Consultant Ian Greep, graduated in 2009, entering a post-university world in which the UK was in its biggest recession since the 1930s.

Ian graduated from the University of Stirling with a 2:1 degree in Sports Studies, but struggled to secure a job in which he wanted to do and was relevant to his field of study.

After working full-time in retail for a year after graduating, Ian went on to complete a Masters’ in Sport and Recreation Business Management at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 2011.

It was during Ian’s four years of study that 2008 financial crash decimated the world’s banks, and crippled the economies of countries from around the globe – with the UK facing the brunt of financial turmoil.

His advice for those facing a similar job market today is to gain as much experience and skills as possible, even if it’s not within your chosen field.

One thing that made Ian stand out from the job market was the transferrable skills he learned completing an internship with the Scottish Volleyball Association, alongside his Masters’ degree.

Ian said: “All of the transferrable skills I’d picked up during my time working in retail, my Masters’ Degree, and my internship with Scottish Volleyball – these all helped me to stand out from the crowd. Taking another year out of my life to study was a gamble, but ultimately it has been the best decision I made during this time.

“Not only did I now academically stand out, I now had some relevant and somewhat unique experience which became a huge talking point when I went for future interviews.

“From there I was able to draw upon the experience I gained in my first full-time job at the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative.

“The decisions I took paid off, and what I have taken from my experience is how best to make yourself stand out from everybody else. Ask yourself how you can achieve this, what can you do to give yourself and advantage in a competitive job market.

“Whether that be through contacts, through family, or off your own back having experience on your CV with transferable skills will put you ahead of the game in a recession hit jobs climate.”

Ian found going the extra mile in finding relevant work experience and honing his transferrable skills helped him navigate through a crowded, recession-hit graduate pool.

After four years with the bicycle company, Ian moved into recruitment and joined us at Core-Asset Consulting in 2015. Ian now specialises in interim, temporary and contract roles, specifically in our accounting team.

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Ian Greep
Senior Consultant – Interim, Temporary & Contract
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