Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Life after graduating: some advice

The initial setback you're almost guaranteed to face after the buzz of graduating begins to settle down, is the overwhelming list of requirements needed for the majority of jobs.
I was surprised at how many internships and even graduate schemes asked for at least a 2:1 as well as 2 years minimum experience within that particular sector, amongst other unrealistic expectations, and it's safe to say there is nothing more disheartening. You've worked hard for three years and all of a sudden you almost feel like you're back at the start, and it is so overwhelming. I found the 'inbetween' period of graduating and securing a job the most stressful time of all.

One thing I would advise students to do is to try and squeeze in as much work experience related activity as possible. Not only does it look good on paper (sorry but I'm kinda missing Love Island..) it will also benefit you hugely when you're applying for positions, and it obviously also helps to know a bit about the industry you're trying to break into. Don't feel like your results are the be all and end all, if you have an average mark but have shown yourself to be dedicated and hardworking. then this will 100% work in your favour!

Don't be afraid to fake it till you make it! (this phrase always reminds me of my friend Jodie who swears by this saying and always mentions it on her blog.) Not everyone knows what they're doing, everyone has to start somewhere and if you're interested in something go for it, despite your degree field. I know people that went to uni and did a subject straight out of school without really knowing what they wanted to achieve from it, when this is the case it may seem like the right choice at the time, but when it comes to applying that subject to the real world and working life, you may ask yourself what is it I actually want to do with this?

Look at what interests you. What are you hobbies, skills? What do you enjoy doing? Go for it. Many people have done a degree in a subject and gone on to do something completely different when they've graduated, there's no set path and a degree is a great experience regardless of what subject you did and it will always back you up and look good on your CV as it teaches you irreplaceable skills and knowledge, and allows you to deal with so many situations you will often find yourself in later in life in a workplace so don't feel like it's useless. No degree is a waste of time or irrelevant

Don't feel like you need to move away or relocate to a big city in order to find your dream job. It looks as though I'm saying this because I genuinely got lucky, but there are definitely pros and cons to getting a job in the city. Obviously the pay is better, but there is so much more competition, and the cost of living will be higher (presuming you don't already live in a city). Look into local businesses or could you even work from home or go self employed? The world is literally your oyster!

Don't let knock backs ruin your confidence, competition is always going to exist and there will always be someone that offers something you don't have, but it doesn't make you any less important or intelligent, everyone is unique and has their own strengths in certain areas.

Last but not least, persistence is key - don't give up, if you have a goal in mind think about it realistically and set out on doing what needs to be done in order to reach it. (This is something I had to keep reminding myself mid dissertation meltdown - plus it really is all worth it in the end). If your dream job requires voluntary work, or relevant experience, take a year out and focus on bettering your CV to get exactly where you want to be. Don't feel like university is the end of your learning and don't think there is any kind of rush to get the perfect job position straight away, good things take time people! Oh and don't put too much pressure on yourself, once you graduate you deserve the biggest pat on the back, unlimited cocktails and at least a week of watching back to back Netflix (just incase you didn't do enough of that in uni..) ahhh, I miss it.

How was your post-grad experience? What are your top tips for anyone graduating university this summer? 

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