How To Survive Life And A Job After Graduation: One Year On

by Anna Boase

Last summer, my time as an undergraduate came to a close and I had no idea which direction I wanted to take my life. I was naïve enough to believe that finding a job I loved would be easy and come to me relatively quick, but I was wrong. The problem was that I hadn’t discovered my passion yet, that thing that would get me out of bed each morning at six am and energise me throughout the day. I was directionless, so when it came to job applications, that process was lacking in direction also.

The lucky few leave University with an arsenal of experiences and a clear idea of where they see themselves a few years down the line. But for many, the months following graduation involve moving back in with parents and can be demotivating and deflating. That fear of going back to old ways instead of forging new paths can take over. Here are a few tips to curb the negative feelings if you are unsure of where your future is heading.

Get a job, it doesn’t matter what.

The last thing your restless mind needs at a time like this is for you to be sitting around with nothing substantial to fill your days. This is when the overthinking happens and the lethargy creeps in. Whether it’s hospitality, retail, admin or a teaching assistant role, there are plenty of areas that are continuously seeking new employees. Take advantage of this and fill your days with purpose. Don’t wait around for that one dream job if you are unsure of what it may be.

Save money, but don’t sacrifice your social life.

If you are working, you are most likely earning. Don’t limit your outgoings to the point where your social life begins to suffer, but also be conscious and plan ahead. If an opportunity arises for work experience, further education or anything which could kickstart your career, you want to be able to say yes right away and not let money stand in your way, so have a little stored away to accommodate what-ifs.

Stay inspired.

Keep your mind moving and take steps to stay inspired, whether it be through exercise, reading, writing, socialising, or anything you so wish. Who knows when you’ll get that Eureka moment and suddenly gain some direction? Don’t lose sight of yourself and keep doing what you enjoy.

Accept that you’re on a journey.

It is unlikely that you will wake up one morning and suddenly realise what it is you want to do in life. You probably won’t be met with a single light bulb moment but rather a few which together will illuminate the path ahead of you. Accept that there will be ups and downs along the way and don’t let the downs discourage you.

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