I’m a graduate, now what?


I’m not sure about other unis, but my one didn’t really say much about life after third year, life after graduation… or maybe they did through the emails they sent but I was too stressed out with my dissertation to even pay them any attention.

For me, as a recent English Literature graduate, leaping into the real world was like being hurled into a pool of ice. I certainly got a shocking wakeup call when there were a lot of jobs that required x amount of qualifications or experience that I wouldn’t have been able to acquire even if I had done some form of voluntary work during the summer months. I couldn’t rewind and brace myself for the next stage. The “next stage” was already upon me and I could feel its icy impact just inches from my feet.

I just had to keep it moving. A broad choice of words, but what do you do when life gives you lemons? Seriously, I’m not attempting to make light of the situation, I know that getting jobs isn’t a simple process and there are definitely times when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, but giving up just wasn’t and still isn’t an option!

Did you really work three years (or more) to just simply give up? I’ve heard about graduates who sit down and say, “I’m not going to work anything else but the job I’ve studied for.” Pride shines through right here. Employers want to see graduates working even if it’s in a low paid job and something you don’t particularly like. They like those kind of things – shows that you are hardworking, able to adapt and you are willing to roll into a job that you know full well is “beneath your worth” and adapt and survive.
I’ve been told many times, you are not your job.

Lots of doors will slam shut, but one will open

And boy, when they do, it’s like all of them open up at the same time and you’re like – “why didn’t this happen before?”

For some of you, you may have landed in your ideal job and you’re all set. Everything is going according to plan and that is great! I suppose this post doesn’t really apply to you. But for those, like myself, who’ve graduated but can’t get onto grad schemes but applied and applied and applied for numerous jobs in line with your career and still aren’t getting very far – if anywhere at all – it’s just a case of steadily bracing yourself for each day, while still doing what you can to break into your desired industry.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

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