So You’ve Graduated! Now What…

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Graduate or soon to be graduate?! Congratulations! Now the hard graft really starts!

If you are lucky enough to have already bagged yourself an internship or job – well done! But if you haven’t don’t worry. From my experience, I don’t know anyone who really achieved their dream job straight out of university.

Many graduates will post the perks of their new job on social media, portraying a perfect working life, but behind every beautiful promotion is a struggle which isn’t splashed all over Facebook or Twitter.

Finishing university with an amazing degree is life changing. University is a roller-coaster with many ups and downs with  friends for life made. Being a Graduate, you feel euphoric, you can conquer the world right?! Yet what many of my friends and I didn’t bargain for is the reality of life after Graduation and entering the big wide world of working 9-5.

Life After University

After all the Champagne Celebrations & Graduation Gown selfies, life after university is very different!

Being at university is definitely a surreal experience whether you enjoyed it or loathed it. However, the readjusting to living back at home with your parents (so lame right?) combined with societies pressure to ‘get a proper job’ mounting and university debt and lack of funds is a daunting prospect and a tad depressing.

The change of living independently on your own terms to living under the parents roof; with a dramatic change in social life (I live in a village and it’s hell!) and facing rejections from jobs you’d kill to have is challenging to say the least!

It’s not unreasonable to assume given you’ve spent 3 years studying your craft; gaining experience, knowledge and skills, that you’d receive a job matched to your skillset…. No?

Unfortunately, the reality for so many of my friends and I is that, unless you’re really, really lucky, for quite a while after leaving university, the jobs you accept might be far from desirable! Even if your first job after graduation is working in a bar, restaurant or even retail, at the end of the day, a job’s a job and it’s all vital experience!

I worked in one job that I hated but managed to pay off my (horrendous) overdraft in 2 months. There’s a silver lining to every shitty situation! Just kept hustling!

Love Career Girl

Xo

Learn To Decline Job Offers

declineSometimes, like me, you end up learning the hard way but I can’t stress enough how important it is to feel comfortable in your choice regarding your career.

Whether you are a graduate or just desperately in need of a new job, you should always think twice about jumping straight into that job that seems too good to be true….

If a job sounds to good to be true…

Don’t be swayed by the pressures of friends and family pushing you into a role, if you feel even a slight bit of unease at the prospect. For a period of time I was working in such a toxic environment that was so horrible, I begin losing sight of what my dream job was, and in my desperation ended up applying to every job that I was alerted to. Learn to take a step back. I didn’t. I applied and interviewed for various roles which were nothing like I imagined or even wanted. When I removed those rose tinted glasses I saw things for what they actually were!

Trust your gut

I once took a shot and applied for a role which I thought was a little out of reach. I didn’t have the experience required. So you can imagine my excitement when I was picked to attend their interview?! It was for a leading Luxe Sportswear brand which I have always adored. I was incredibly naive and was quickly seduced by the immense perks, free clothes, free gym classes, invites to cool events etc, etc. I mean, who wouldn’t turn that down! I was even given the choice in the interview to be promoted to a managerial position, bearing in mind I was a 22 year old graduate! Sadly, the pay was A LOT less than was initially quoted, the free gym classes and events never materialised and those free clothes? I wish! Some were free, however I ended up having to spend almost £200 before I’d even started working… I painted a pretty amazing picture of how unreal this opportunity was to friends and family, some didn’t agree and I wish I had listened. I had a gut feeling from the interview something wasn’t right but convinced my friends, and more so to myself, that this was the best job ever!

Take your time to job hunt!

In another instance I ended up applying for a role which deep down I never wanted. My parents pressured me, knowing how sad and frustrated I was in my current job and only trying to help! I aced the interview and began working there. My initial reservations regarding the establishment turned out to be the tip of the iceberg! Staff morale was rock bottom, poor customer service, rock bottom pay (lowest I have EVER been paid!) combined with a bitchy atmosphere; made me want out. Pronto. Luckily, months later I was free!! The only thing I regret was applying in the first place!

Moral of the story? Trust your gut instinct!

If a job doesn’t feel right, doesn’t sit well and fills you with unease, decline. Even if you can’t pinpoint why you feel that way. Maybe you feel bad vibes from the environment, team or even the interviewer, I urge you to step back, analyse the situation, sleep on it or have a change of scenery to think hard about it. You’ll thank yourself in the long run. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a role you feel uncomfortable about or let a hiring manager intimidate you into making a decision. It is perfectly reasonable to ask for more time, a contract, more answers etc. before accepting anything!

 

Good Luck!

Love Career Girl

Xo