Whatever field you are heading for, I bet there is a professional association that is ready to help you. I still belong to the organisation that helped me launch as a market researcher a good few years ago, The Market Research Society (MRS). This week they emailed me their new report on the industry: The ResearchLive Industry Report 2017. It makes brilliant reading for anyone trying to break into market research. It outlines news from the top agencies and lists the smaller agencies that are the ones to watch.
Professional associations run courses, networking events and mentoring schemes that can be of invaluable help to jobseekers. The Association of Qualitative Researchers (AQR) is another of my favourite associations and they run brilliant evening events that help connect young people with leaders in the industry. Professional associations are great places to find out about the nitty gritty of the business. Before becoming a market researcher I worked in advertising, and when I was fresh from Uni knocking on doors, I spent a day in the library at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA). I might have been a bit of a pest trying to pick up as much as I could but nonetheless they were incredibly helpful.
Remember that professional organisations are there to help you. Don’t worry about being a bit of a pest. Sniff out what they have to offer. It is part of their remit to reach out to the next generation and to help attract the talent of tomorrow. Above all, use them to network so that you begin to feel at home in the industry before you have officially arrived!