Your time at university can be a bit like living in a bubble; you can see the outside world, but you’re safe and protected on campus. Graduation is like a giant pin that bursts your bubble and plunges you into the real world. The actions that you took in the bubble suddenly have a huge bearing on how you’ll cope on the other side. If you spent three years in a whirlwind of partying and pulling all-nighters to get your essays in on time then the real world will probably slap you in the face…
Get your act together
Being able to down 15 shots of tequila in a row and remain standing might have impressed your peers at university but people in the real world aren’t as easily impressed, I’m afraid. Post-graduation you simply can’t sustain the university lifestyle of partying while you squeeze the occasional essay in. If anything, your liver could probably do with a rest too! So lay off the alcohol for a while and focus on turning yourself into a responsible human being.
Devise an action plan
Do you want to jump head first into your career, or do you want to take some time out to see the world before you settle into working life? Do you even know what career path you want to go down yet? So many graduates don’t take the time to do their research and formulate a post-graduation action plan, so they end up drifting into any old job, or even drifting back into education. Decide what your goal is and work out a plan that will get you there.
Start your job hunt
When you graduate from university and begin to search for your first proper job it’s important to be mentally prepared for what lies ahead. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll get the first job you apply for. Even if you manage to get an interview, very few people are successful the first time. You’ll need to develop patience and a thick skin as you will experience rejection during your job search. The key is to learn from your experiences. If you’ve had an interview that wasn’t successful, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback to help you improve your interview technique in the future.
When it comes to job hunting, many graduates start to panic after the first few rejections. They think that they’ll never get a job, and that they’ll be claiming jobseekers allowance forever. This can lead to them completely saturating the job market by applying for 15 jobs a week. It can be beneficial to get a part time job doing retail or bar work etc to keep some money coming in, thus taking the pressure off your job search a little. You can then spend more time researching roles and putting extra time and effort into one or two applications a week instead.