You’ve slaved over your exams, pulled all-nighters to finish your course work or lost your mind in labs. But it’s all been worth it, as now it’s your time to do the walk of glory and graduate. Woop, Woop you did it! Whatever you achieved, be proud that you’re now a true member of graduate gang. Believe me, university doesn’t really resemble the real world; no more flexible schedules, random campus events and well… Free time in general! So, make the most of this liberated feeling!
I know it’s easy to sit back and think “Yeah I’m done now. I’ve graduated”; on the contrary young grasshopper – this is only the beginning. The job hunt is truly a jungle and the world of work is never easy! So, I thought I’d drop some of the key skills I learnt, the first year after I graduated. I hope these gems will give you the power and strength to make it through, “May the power of the graduate be upon you” – Zhuri voice.
Wooh chile – this is the hardest one for me. Being patient once you’ve graduated is a key that will help you in every facet of your life. I wanted (still want, if I’m going to be 100% honest), the house, the car, the job and the money the moment I received that piece of paper. I thought yep, I’ve done my job – SHOW ME THE MONEY. Now about 2% of people will see such fast progression but really, it’s a long and hard road to success.
Looking for the role, going through the 28-step process; add cv, cover letter, skills, work history (even though you just uploaded your CV), numerical test and every other stage they can think of, is frustrating. This is where patience is key. Walk away, take a breather, watch some TV and come back to it later. Practice your interview techniques 10 times, apply for 50 jobs if you need to and trust the process. Whether you get a job the week after or 3 months after – this is the beginning of YOUR journey and sometimes you have to wait for the breakthrough.
People always say, “be confident in yourself”, but never explain what that is or how it can help. Be confident in your ability to learn adapt and thrive in any role – when you go for a role, know that you may not have all the experience! That’s completely fine, a role I supposed to be challenging as well as something you learn from. Now I’m not telling you to apply for board member right off the bat, but, go for a job even if you’re missing a few of the requirements; highlight your skills and stress that you are willing to learn.
Remember you are just as valuable to a company than they are to you! But be careful, cockiness is not confidence – don’t be THAT candidate.
It’s also easy to doubt yourself and that can come off in any interview. Graduating can be daunting and it’s a big a transition. Sometimes it can feel like “woooooh this is all happening a bit too fast” – which is normal. You’re starting a new chapter just like everyone else; it’s easy to look at your friends and feel like you’re behind but trust me run your own race. Success has no timeline!
Okay so this sounds like an obvious tip – but it’s not just about smiling and shaking hands, it’s more about being personable. You are a highly educated, passionate graduate – but there is also more to you. Let your personality shine – have you travelled, done an internship, held down a part-time whilst studying full time? What did you learn from all of that? What makes you the person sitting in front of them at that moment?
When you’re going for a job, remember that your interviewers are human just like you! Nobody wants to work with someone who responds like a robot or with an ingenuine Stepford wife, premeditated response (even if you’ve said the same answer 3 times already that day). Don’t be afraid to be who you are, just tone it down and polish it up a little bit – the first impression is the most important. So, brush yourself off and approach the interview with vim. With excellence. With sauce.
Not only does this help them see your personality – this also helps you to be memorable and worth taking note of. Even if you don’t get that specific position, there’s been many cases where companies will refer you to other roles or get back to you with future openings! Never hurts to be nice.
You can find more on how to show your personality in the job hunt here
To be resilient means to be ‘able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions’ – ( courtesy of our good friend Google) & sometimes that’s exactly what you need after graduating. The reason being is over 2.32 millionstudents were studying in the UK between 2016 – 2017 alone; there a lot of highly skilled and qualified people in this world, which means you may see “Unfortunately due to a high level of applicants, we regret to inform you” more than you’d hope! It can start to feel like you’ll never get a job and maybe you’re just born to be on benefits!
This is where your resilience needs to kick in. After that 100th no, you need the ability to go on to apply for that 101th job, as that might be the one for you. DO NOT GIVE UP. Which is easy to say and much harder to actually do. Therefore, I say being resilient is only possible when you exude positivity. Speak your goals into existence, talk to people if you’re feeling low and please be aware of what you are mentally consuming. Sometimes certain music, shows, friends, relationships etc can make it very difficult to be positive and motivated.
Surround yourself with people that want, you to thrive and who are willing to help you brush up your CV, share interview tips or just listen to you vent. Sometimes your friend that is a Debbie downer must be put on hold in order for you to thrive!
I think you’re ready!
Stay focused and get that job you’re dreaming of or career that will propel you into fame. Whatever your goals, if you can utilise the above I’m sure you can work your way towards it. Don’t be afraid to be you and take a few L’s on the way; this is your journey. Your story. Congratulations and be safe fellow graduate!