68% of University leavers find full time work in the UK
15% of University leavers go onto Further Study
6% of University leavers remained unemployed
Let's be honest, life after uni is so daunting! You've had it drilled into you that we must find our dream jobs upon graduation and most of us tend to think that it might happen quite quickly, but that's not always the case. We pile on the pressure; pigeon holing ourselves into decided what career path we want to take, lining up interviews and trying to secure work as quickly as possible. It's so overwhelming; some of us don't even know what we want to do after graduating which is another stressful factor in itself. Third year is the most important part of university but whilst 70% of you is focusing on work the rest of you is like BUT WHAT THE HELL DO I DO ONCE I'VE GRADUATED?!?!?! Here I'm shining some light on my story to restore your faith that's everything works out!...
What did I think would happen after University?
To be honest, I'm not really sure what I ever thought would happen after university. Third year was hands down the hardest year studying ever, with gruelling work loads, tight deadlines and crazy late nights and sometimes no sleep at all. I think I'd focused all of my energy onto just getting through and completing my final year that I hadn't ever really given too much thought as to what I thought would happen afterwards. I kind of envisioned having a couple of weeks down time to catch up on sleep, line up a few interviews then I thought I'd find something pretty quickly.
What actually happened after University?
So, I graduated, celebrated, slept, slept some more and then felt like the whole world had dried up of jobs I'd love to do in the two weeks since I'd finished. PR or social media was a route that I was eager to explore and kind of imagined those jobs would be ten to the dozen. But I was wrong. I signed up to every agency, directory, newsletter and Twitter account that I could find and wasn't having too much joy. I didn't expect to just fall on my feet by a long shot, but at the same time, I didn't think it would be as hard as it actually was either!
So, what did I do? My step brother at the time was working as a chef and running a cafe in our town, it was on the seafront and it was summer so I took on as much work and overtime as I could so I could save up whilst looking for work. It actually turned out to be one of the best summers, I decided to stop being so hard on myself and enjoy life as it was, right then. It's so easy to pile on the pressure when graduating, always questioning why you can't find any jobs, or why you're not landing that interview, but I'm a firm believer of fate and I think things happen when they're meant to. So, I worked my butt off and saved up, whilst running my life, keeping connected with brands, bloggers, and PR's that I'd worked with previously and kept on applying.
I landed some amazing interviews; one was at my dream company and I'd built it up in my head as my 'dream job'; during the interview it was quite apparent that it was far from my dream job so I left feeling super disheartened. During the summer whilst I was waitressing, I received an email from a PR firm that I'd worked closely with asking if I'd like to start a two week internship the very next week as someone had dropped out last minute, I snapped it up and loved every minute. In fact, I loved it so much that I kind of never left, I just kept extending my internship every week because I didn't want to leave, it ended up being my job for a year and a half, which also proved to me that sometimes the best things come along when you're actually not looking for them!
So, even though I landed my dream job about four months after graduated, it wasn't all plain sailing and by no means something that just happened. After hundreds of applications, several rejections and utter persistence, I finally made it. What I'm trying to say to you gal pals; is don't stress yourself out about the situation, worrying after all, won't actually change anything. Don't put too much pressure on yourself because what will be, will be. Saying that; there are some things you could be doing to help you land your dream job; here are my top three tips!...
MY TOP THREE TIPS FOR APPLYING FOR WORK UPON GRADUATION...
STAY IN THE KNOW
I made sure that I'd signed up to as many job websites and social media accounts as I could so that I was kept in the know when new jobs arose. Try to sign up to newsletters where you can so you receive daily/weekly updates straight to your inbox as opposed to trawling sites! This is all dependant on what area you'd like to work in; if you're interested in working in fashion or beauty then I'd highly recommend checking out the following for job updates; Diary Directory, Fashion Monitor and Gorkana. Linked In and the Graduate Jobs Twitter account are great too!
I think it's so important to stay creative once you've graduated! It's super easy to just let everything you've learnt or practiced slip away with everyday life. I studied Fashion Media & Promotion which involved photography, styling, graphics, writing and so much more. Once I'd graduated I made sure that I maintained my blog to get my brain creative, I also bought a camera and shot what I could, when I could. I also really loved illustration and graphic design and was fortunate enough to land a huge illustration job the week after I'd graduated which kept my creativity flowing.
I'm a huge believer that sometimes 'it's who you know, not what you know' does actually work out. I'd met the girls at my job through my blog and had always attended events, supported their brands and built up great relationships with the girls, then when the internship came up it just seemed a natural fit for them to ask me, I loved everything they stood for so for me it was a no brainer! Try to attend any relevant events, stay connected with people via social media and make your presence aware so that if a job or an internship comes up; you're at the forefront of their minds!
So there we have it! My graduation story and my first job role! Like I said, please don't stress it, just put the work in, keep in the know with the latest job updates, keep connected to people of importance and work your little toosh off; in the end everything will fall into place. Promise. In the meantime, don't worry yourself sick about 'what might happen', none of us would ever get any sleep if we worried about what might happen, just focus on the now, if you're in your third year, put in the work and worry about the aftermath once you've completed your work load!
Are you in university or just recently graduated? What's your post-graduated story? Was work after university a concern for you too?