Ok time to listen up and have a reality check. If you’re a recent graduate or even I you graduated last year (like myself) there are a few things you need to realise about adulthood and careers.
I’m not going to sugar coat this blog post but honestly adult life if fucking scary.
Whether you’re still living at home or you’ve moved out there are so many responsibilities added to your plate now you’re 21+ and a fully fledged adult.
We’re expected to have our heads switched on, our credit scores improving and know where we’re going to be in the next 5 years.
It’s a lot of pressure, it sucks and it’s so easy to get caught up in it all.
Which is why I wanted to offer four pieces of advice that every graduate from the past two years need to know.
KEEP WORKING YOUR ASS OFF
It might seem obvious but not everyone seems to realise that even if you get a job after graduation, your degree is not going to give you any headway or advantage. It might in terms of skill, but when it comes to career progression you’re back to square one.
No matter where you end up working you’re going to have to build your way up from the bottom. That means working your ass off. Treating everyday like an interview or trail.
If you want to get noticed you have to put yourself out there. Make yourself shine. Go above and beyond.
The same goes for trying to find a job. Firsts and 2.1’s aren’t rare anymore. In fact it means jack shit in the real world. Sure you might need certain qualifications for your career path, but ultimately it’s down to your personality and experience.
It’s great having a first class degree but if you have zero experience in the field, working as a team or showing your initiative, then you need to start working on that.
So may final year students think that a job is just going to fall into their lap when they leave uni but the truth is you’ve still got to do a lot of hard work to get there.
MAKE THE EFFORT
One of the main concerns I’ve found with myself and my friends is the fear that once you leave university you won’t see each other anymore.
And you won’t.
Unless you make the effort.
If you can afford to meet up and see them then plan a day every month to do so. If you can’t afford to travel then message them every week to see ho they’re doing.
If you want to stay in touch then it’s simple. Stay in touch.
It’s once you start to forget about them or become ‘busy’ when relationships start to fall apart.
My best gal pal Abi and I try to meet up every month – it’s not always doable due to our work schedules but we will ring each other and message back and forth.
MAKE MISTAKES AND TRY NEW THINGS
Yes you’re an adult now. Yes you have responsibilities that you’re not used to. But you’re also not expected to know everything straight away.
Make your mistakes now and be honest about your mistakes.
Use your family to your advantage because the chances are they’re going to have more experience than you.
But you’re also an adult now which means you don’t need parental permission to try something new. Join a sports club, go vegetarian for a week. You buy the shopping now not them.
Decorate your flat how you want to. Change it around after a month. Who cares!
You might feel like now’s the time to be responsible and show how mature you are, but remember that you’re still young. You’re allowed to try something different. You’re allowed to make mistakes. And you’re allowed to ask for help!
YOU ARE NOT YOUR DEGREE
So many graduates think that they’re degree defines them and I’m guilty of this as well.
I remember saying to Abi that because I got a first and I was the student of the year it felt that everyone was watching to see what my next move was going to be. My family, my peers, my teachers.
It was like I had to do something amazing with my life and in my career.
I like to think that I’ve got an amazing job and it’s very fitting with my career choice and degree. But I also realised that my degree or grades shouldn’t define who I am.
If you did a history degree but want to apply for a business job then do it! You’re degree doesn’t set the precedent for the rest of your life.
If you’re degree isn’t the grade you wanted, don’t let that stop you from applying for jobs you really want.
If you think you’re under qualified, still apply for it. You never know what can happen.
Adulthood is a scary thing. It’s new and nobody is ever prepared for it. Your parents weren’t prepared for it. Their parents weren’t prepared for it. But they all turned out fine.
It’s a learning curve and nobody has the answers. The next few years is your time to experiment. To try new things. To have jobs you hate and jobs you love. To move in with someone and live on your own.
To figure out for yourself how to be an adult and go from there.
You’ve got this.