Life After University? Where Now?
July 19, 2012
By: Emma Mason
After three long years you have finally finished university and got your degree, now you’re taking those first tentative steps into the real working world. But with reports in the news of this being the worst possible year to graduate, with less and less jobs on the market and employers telling you that a 2:1 is not enough, how are we to make that shiny transition into full grown, working, ’adult’. What if the career you had been studying so hard for is not the one you actually want? Do you stay in your not too shabby flat or move back home? We have to ask ourselves, what happens now?
Never Give Up On Looking For Your Dream Job
You have the degree and now you’re ready to start that dream job you have been thinking about for the past few years. But how do you succeed at it? Well, simply put. You start at the bottom. It may sound degrading after you have just finished three or even four years at university and you feel you deserve that top job. However unfortunately this is the real world and you have to be realistic. Working in a small role can lead to bigger opportunities, don’t turn your nose up at anything that will brighten your prospects. By all means apply for your dream job and who knows; if you’re the right candidate, you will get it. You may find yourself like me, hitting your head against a wall and asking what it is you are doing wrong and why no one is willing to hire you. Turn to your CV and make sure it is up to date, professional and stands out from the crowd. While you are waiting for your dream job try positions that are similar to what you are looking to get into. Never give up.
Take Another Course/Masters
It will boost your chances of getting a better and higher paying job. Not only that but you will be expanding your skills/knowledge and meeting more new people will keep you social if all your uni friends have moved back home. Doing another course/Masters can lead to multiple opportunities. Although the main reason many students choose to not go down this path is because of funding. Student finance will only fund you for 3/4 years and only on certain courses. If you choose a course that student finance won’t fund you for, you have to find the means to on your own. It sounds more effort than it is worth but if it is what you really want to do, then go for it. Many graduates take on part time jobs to fund their Masters and some couldn’t be happier because it’s what they want to do. It’s understandable if you don’t want to go into any more debt, but the risk could pay off. Just make sure the course is what you really want to do and is worth it.
Travel The World
As many people may have already told you, now is the best time to travel and see the world. It is also a great opportunity to see the world and really figure out what it is you want to do with your life, a bit of soul searching does wonders for the mind. You can volunteer to help out in Countries like Africa teaching children, making a difference. The world is a big place and can open so many doors to your future.
Move Back Home, With The Parents
When you first left on your journey of freedom, the last place you expected it to lead you was back to your barbie pink bedroom with boy band posters still attached to the walls. It may not be what you want but in the long run, moving back home with your parents is practical. They are your family and want nothing more than for you to do well. It may be hard but remember it’s not forever, plus you will be saving money and can put it away for when you can afford to move out again. While you are living under your parents roof, you have to live by their rules. Talk to them and come to an understanding that you are an adult now and need to be treated like one and not a kid. Help out with the chores and take responsibility. Just because you are back home, does not mean you are not an independent young adult.It’s even harder if you were living with a boyfriend and all of a sudden you are only seeing each other once a week. All you have to remember is that this situation is not forever and if your relationship is strong it will stand the test of time/distance.
The bills are piling up, you can’t find a job and all you want to do is to run back home and consume a huge amount of Ben and Jerry’s while sobbing your heart out, and tell your parents that you never want to grow up. Could things be worse? It’s natural to feel a huge amount of stress when you have finished uni. It’s not easy realising that the money you survived on has suddenly gone and you now have a few short weeks to get a job in order to keep a roof above your head. Take a walk, it will get you out of the house and also you may spot an opportunity that will take you places. Listen to music that makes you happy, paint your nails or treat yourself to a face mask. Nothing is better than feeling relaxed and fresh, ready to take on whatever life throws at you. Everyone has their down days and that’s OK, you’re only human. The longer you feel low about your situation, the longer it will take to dig yourself up out of that rut. Take one step at a time, and stop worrying about a future you can not see and spend today in today as it is a gift (That is why they call it the present! Cheesy Kung Fu Panda quote) Also talking to a family member or friend can really open your eyes to what options you have after university and something you may have never even thought about could be staring you in the face.