You’ve spent the last few years with the freedom to spend your student days as you please…. And now that is all about to change. How do you feel? Excited? Nervous? Concerned how you’re going to cope with the differing circumstances? Well do not worry, as you’re not alone in this situation.
Every year, thousands of graduates have the same experience and need to shift from a party-going, student lifestyle to a full-time, reliable employee. I know that sounds easier said than done, however, a piece of advice from me, a recent graduate is…. It will get easier if you prepare and flip your mindset!
If you’re struggling to see passed the simplicity of this transition, read on to hear my top tips to get prepared this summer… Well after your summer celebrations of course!
It all starts with your mindset…
Now I know the sound of getting up early 5 days a week, working long hours and having your day managed doesn’t sound like the most desirable step after the level of freedom you’ve had. However, it really isn’t as bad as it seems and has many more positives to it.
After years of budgeting, think of how rewarding earning your own money will be. Not to mention the level of motivation and pride you will feel once you start to progress in your field.
I know it’s difficult to see passed the negatives currently as you’re so used to your own routine, however, the best thing you can do right now is to flip your mindset and view your future career as a new adventure… An adventure that will boost your life.
Be prepared to learn some more
Although your years of academia may be over, you’ll never stop learning in your career, and that is something some graduates need to get their head around.
I know that after investing your whole childhood and teenage years into education, you’d think that you’d be clued up, however, if you’re going into a career where you’ll focus on an area of expertise, greater advance learning will be needed… And with that said, even if you step into a mundane, low responsibility role that has nothing to do with your degree, you will need to learn something new occasionally.
Additionally, industries are continuously evolving, and the job market is heavily saturated, therefore, learning and development should be on the top of your to-do list to remain competitive. So, now is the best time to get your head around the fact that you will continue to be a student of some sort.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
Now this is most definitely easier said than done…. Of course, you’re going to put pressure on yourself, along with the tone of pressure you will also receive from those around you. I understand how this sometimes can’t be controlled as you and your loved ones want you to hit the ground running with your career, however, do remember that too much pressure can have long-term negative effects.
The best way to view your first role post-graduation is a learning opportunity. This is the opportunity that you will get to learn about your professional self, the type of career and workplace you want to be associated with and the chance to make mistakes (small ones I hope) so that you can learn what’s right for you!
We put too much pressure on ourselves to over-achieve…. Of course, we still want to be successful, however, this is your first role, and most definitely won’t be your end career destination, so use this time wisely. You have many years ahead for high pressured roles as you’ll be well equipped with experience and industry skill.
Be your own competition
After spending a few years with your peers, probably studying the same subject area, it’s understandable that a level of competitiveness will be present. However, do not focus too much on what others are doing, as everyone is different and will have opposing graduate experiences.
This point goes with the above of pressure levels. If you start to focus more on what others around you are doing, rather than your own goals and career vision, you’ll attract a negative level of pressure! Use yourself as a benchmark – You’ll never lose then!
Be ready to work a lot for a lot less – The opposite spectrum of student life
When you start off your graduate career, it is difficult to not jump ahead as you believe you’re a pro in your field with your recent qualifications. However, this is not the case in the world of work and you need to be prepared to work very hard for little return at the start.
Along with your day to day, you may even need to do extra free courses and a little side hustle to boost your knowledge and broaden your future opportunities. I know it’s difficult, but so worth it once you start seeing results that will help you progress your career.
Network as much as you can
A further way you can prepare yourself for the scary world of work is networking. Along with your workplace forums and get-togethers, there are many online tools such as LinkedIn you can use to connect with others in your industry.
As stated above, your graduate role won’t be your one and only career step, therefore, opening up your network and allowing others to get to know you and your ability will benefit you significantly in the future.
Increase your employability as a student
Finally, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. You may already have a role secured, however, with competition being at its highest and the negative perception of the millennial workforce, keeping on top of your professional a-game is a must. Check out some tips here that you can implement if you’re going into your final year, or even well into your job search.
Now I understand that the above tips paint entering the world of work a little negative, however, it’s far from once you find a company and role you love! At first, the shift will be difficult as you’re developing new routines, however, will be more than worth it long-term.
If you take anything from this blog, it’s to prepare yourself in the best way you can, whether that be your outlook on working or your current skillset… Whatever you can do now will make life much easier once you receive that offer letter.
Most of all, enjoy your summer of freedom and try and have fun while you take your career seriously!
If you are looking for any support on graduate roles, keep your eyes peeled for our up and coming campaign… you won’t want to miss it! To keep in the know, follow us on Twitter @Gradability