So ya wore the hat and did the walk – exciting stuff and of course, congratulations. You’re officially graduated! If you’re feeling a little stuck or lost, that’s completely normal and I’m here to chat to you about it today. After I graduated, my mental health was at its worst and I was feeling super lost. I was in a job that didn’t really feel like mine and I didn’t feel like I was learning. My therapist summed it up like this: you’ve just spent three years treading water, going from assignment to assignment, lecture to lecture and having a constant stream of stress and then it all just stops. It’s like holding your breath for too long and then not feeling relieved when you sigh.
I always expected that my graduation would feel like this momentous life stage and that I would immediately feel accomplished and ready to take on the world but that just didn’t happen. I suppose being in a job I wasn’t enjoying didn’t help but I did get this pang of fear that my undergraduate degree wasn’t actually going to get me anywhere in life and it made me a wee bit stressed.
Fast forward 8 months and I’m in an incredibly rewarding job, waiting to hear whether I will be starting my Masters in February. I suppose what I’m here to tell you is a few things that helped me after I graduated that might help you feel a little less lost too. Enjoy.
- You don’t have to get the perfect job right away, but your first job sets you up for life. You will learn a lot from your first job whether you love it or hate it. You might find your voice and figure out exactly what you don’t want from a job, or you might work under a boss that tries to squash you a little. Either way, take all the learning you can from it and grow!
- Post grad isn’t as scary as it seems. Since I decided that I wanted to do post grad, the amount of support I got from my uni was amazing. I think what people don’t realise is that most uni’s are super excited about students that are interested in post grad and they do set you up for success in a very close knit environment.
- Your degree is a unique experience. Not everyone that has graduated with a business degree remembers the same content. Not everyone remembers the same theories and examples that might help you in a job one day so whilst you might feel like you’re competing against 847575 other people when you apply for jobs try and remember that no one is you and that is your strength.
- You only applied for 30 jobs? Oh honey that’s nothin’! Unfortunately, contrary to point number 3 – there will be a lot of job hunting. I applied for 30-40 jobs before I landed the one I’m in now (and LOVING btw). You won’t get responses from most, so try and make your CV stand out and keep your chin up. If this freaks you out a little, read this blog post all about job hunting and having self confidence. You can always make your CV a little more chunky by taking some online courses (free on lynda.com!) in areas you think might come in handy. For example, I took an SEO course, and a social media course. Considering they are free, they are definitely worth doing and I am always glad I learnt a wee bit more about SEO now that I’m in a job that utilises it.
It’s important to remember that your graduation isn’t the be all and end all. There is ALWAYS room for improvement and so much that uni won’t prepare you for. It’s also good to know that no one really knows what they are doing. I know nurses now working in sales, teachers working in youth aid and marketers that never went to uni. Your degree doesn’t mean your path is carved out in stone so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
I hope this made you feel a little less lost, or at least a little less stressed about feeling lost haha!
Thanks for reading!
Love, Lyd x