It’s been three years since I left university and made the transition from being a student to a young professional. On reflection, here’s the top three things I learnt:
1. The struggle is real
It was mind-numbingly boring, frustrating and depressing in the space of time between university and landing my first job. University is done and dusted, I was sitting on my coach watching repeat episodes of Jeremy Kyle and eating my third bowl of honey-nut cheerios (most days). It is so easy to become a couch potato. But don’t. Whether it’s part-time work, temping or volunteering: do something. Be active, mentally and physically, and use this time effectively and wisely. Many of my friends saved money during their studies and used this time to travel knowing full-well they wouldn’t get the opportunity to do another major holiday again for a while.
2. Working 9-5, what a way to make a livin’
I’ve never been an early riser, but it took quite some time to get used to waking up before my postman delivered my mail. And it’s not just the early rises, it’s the consistency of them. Some of my friends say they’ve become used to the working week with time. Frankly, I haven’t, and there’s no cure for this either. What makes getting out of bed that little bit easier is enjoying the work I do and having a group of colleagues that I get on with exceedingly well. And if you haven’t found that job yet don’t stop looking for it. It’s out there.
It seems obvious, but when I started work I didn’t expect to work with such a diverse group of people. I thought I already was! But in university, you and your classmates are studying the same degree, you’re probably of a similar age and hold similar ambitions. In work, this isn’t always the case. You can be working with people of all ages, educations and backgrounds. But it’s great! You’ll encounter a whole new network and no doubt learn a thing or two along the way. And the bonus ball: having good, diverse connections will only support you to secure your next job when the time comes.