From a young age we have the idea of the ‘real world’ hammered into our brains. The ‘real world’ where you have to pay taxes. The ‘real world’ where if you’re late, you won’t get another chance to pitch to a client, or where you work at a dead-end job in an office with a bloke named Barry who always says something inappropriate at Friday drinks. Chances are you’re waiting to graduate with an impeding sense of dread for this ‘real world’ which sounds like it’s going to unnervingly consume you as soon as you’re handed that scroll at your graduation ceremony.
The first thing you need to do is to forget the notion of ‘real world’. Yes, you may have been living in a student bubble away from the scary monsters named Tax, Responsibilities & The 9-to-5, but you’ve been living in the ‘real world’ this whole time without realising it. Graduate life really isn’t as scary as everyone makes it out to be (although responsibilities can sometimes jump out and surprise you when you least expect it – eek).
Here are my top 6 reasons why graduate life isn’t as scary as you might think:
1. Yes, you actually do have experience
The idea of interviews, job applications & CVs can be a scary thought after you’ve graduated. If you’re one of the clever ones, you’ll have done some work experience or internships during your study holidays. If not, don’t fret – being a student teaches you more than how to wing a dissertation when you’ve had 3 hours sleep. You’ve got solid proof that you’ve stuck something out for three years. Your assignments took a certain levels of experience and knowledge, and the lectures and seminars you attended definitely help out with processing your learnings. When applying for jobs, make sure you portray these transferable skills.
2. You’ve got a degree
On top of everything else you learnt at university, you’ve got yourself a degree! It’s no easy feat to complete your studies, so it’s something to be proud of. The job market is a competitive one, so having a degree under your belt can help you stand out above the rest. It also boosts your credibility when it comes to completing a goal, as you’ve stuck it out for 3 years and have something to prove it!
3. Believe or not, there’s a job out there you might love
Graduate schemes and entry level jobs are shoved down the throats of graduates which sends the entire student population into a frenzy. But STOP! Graduate schemes are awesome for many people – but it’s not the only option for graduates. There are so many opportunities out there, whether that’s in start ups, creative roles or just entry-level jobs. If you’re lucky enough to be in a position to accept an internship with a company you love, then do it. But until that day comes, remember that you you will eventually find a job you love, even if it takes a while.
4. Life-long vocations are not really a ‘thing’ anymore
Sometimes graduates feel as though they need to choose their exact career in the moment of graduation. Now, years ago this may have been the case. Workers would get a job and probably stay in the same industry for their whole life. These days, careers are much more fluid. It’s no longer frowned upon to change jobs and move around. So don’t be afraid that your first job is going to be your job for life. The transferable skills you learn can take you anywhere you wish to go.
5. Everyone else is finding their way too
If you feel like you’re floating around in an unknown sea waiting to find a desert island called First Job, look closely enough and you’ll see the bobbing heads of thousands of other graduates in the same position as you. It can be quite a hard time and it’s easy to feel lonely, but remember that your peers are probably in exactly the same position as you. Grab on to them and you’ll soon wash up on land; talking to your peers can help out.
6. Routines are great
If you’re about to graduate and have become accustomed to the sweet 3-hour days that university brings, a 9-to-5 job can seem absurd. How do people last for THAT many hours without having a midday nap? Well, believe it or not a routine is actually good for your health. It’s also easier than you may think, and if you’re a serial napper, you’ve always got the weekend!
Do you have any other reasons why graduate life isn’t that scary? Let us know in the comments below.
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