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University's over and you're officially unemployed...now what?

November 24, 2016 23:17

All that can be shown for three years at university is an expired student card, a hefty student loan screaming "pay me", and a glossy graduation photo that will perhaps sit on the mantelpiece for eternity.

In my final year I tried to block out the reminder that education would not always protect me from the big bad world of work. As the new academic year dawns, I’m pelted with constant reminders that job applications, graduate schemes and interviews cannot be ignored.

Graduates are often left in a state of limbo, armed with a degree but no job. So how can ex-students make that transition from being unemployed to being a working success in society?

1. Keep calm and carry on

Don’t have a quarter-life crisis that education and university life have come to a grinding halt. Reminiscing about being a student is acceptable, but this isn’t an excuse to sleep with a library pass under your pillow at night. Constantly watching Netflix to replicate a student lifestyle is not going to help one progress.

Graduates are often left in a state of limbo, armed with a degree but no job

2. Experience sells

For the majority, knowing exactly what career path to take is often murky. It is a scary thought that once a paid job comes around, one can fall into the trap of being super-glued to an office chair and typing until retirement.

Interning is a great way to gain skills where gradually new doors will open. Having a variety of experiences in several industries is vital to see what one likes, but more importantly what one doesn’t want to do. This can really enhance job satisfaction in the long run. In this respect, experience is more precious than a repetitive job with a pay cheque.

3. Ditch the briefcase for a backpack

Accepting a three year graduate scheme with a five year job at the end may seem appealing to some fresh faced graduates, but permanently working nine to five after university may not always be the wisest move. Birmingham graduate, Rosie Burns agrees. “Travelling after university is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said. “I can hold onto my youth a bit longer and explore the world. I have the rest of my life to be tied to the shackles of a permanent job.”

There is no denying that going from long, three week holidays at university to only 25 days off a year will be a shock to the system. Travelling around the world becomes less of a reality and more of a fantasy. Try and apply for part time work to make some money and then swap the briefcase for a backpack and expand your horizon.

4. Lots of people are in the same boat

Remember that not knowing what to do after university is extremely common. In fact, some people in their old age are still questioning their career path. (I’m not sure whether this is comforting or frightening). It is daunting not knowing what the future holds, but remember you’re not alone.

And if all else fails...well, there is always the option of doing a postgrad degree.

November 24, 2016 23:17

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