Graduate Blog

The realities of life after graduation


A number of Universities take pride in sharing the statistics of their recent graduates who have managed to gain full time employment within six months of completing their degree. For the graduates of 2013, this job seeking transition is fast approaching its six month deadline before the next influx of graduates appear.

Today’s job market is a notoriously challenging one but this challenge is not exclusive to graduate positions. Competition can be tough and the difficulties in finding a job are shared by the majority of job seekers trying to secure employment.

Completing a degree is a milestone of achievement, but for most the elation soon turns to uncertainty about the future. It’s natural for students to have their own vision of life after graduation, however for many the reality is often quite different.

This refreshing guide by Sophie Howarth who graduated from Lancaster Uni last year before going on to find employment with specialist student insurer Endsleigh considers the 7 stages many grads experience as they enter the world of full-time employment for the first time in earnest.

The first stage, writes Sophie, is ‘Denial’. Having been though all the hard work to gain a degree qualification, time is taken to unwind and wallow in unashamed ‘me’ time – no need to rush these things. Following closely behind comes ‘Panic & Guilt’, having realised that funds are running low and feeling guilty about not having done something about it sooner. ‘Anger’ decides to make an appearance at the endless job applications. Next come ‘The Blues’ stage, after submitting applications and realising that previous job experience, or lack of it may be a bit of a stumbling block.

With four stages down and three to go ‘The Upward Turn’ is when you decide to take stock of what needs to be done and do something about it. Volunteering is a great way to get work experience.

This ‘Working through’ stage not only gives a taster of what it’s like to be in a working environment, it also helps define strengths and weaknesses and determine which path you need to follow to use the disciplines and knowledge gained from studying a degree. The final stage is ‘Acceptance & Hope’ and it pretty much does what it says on the tin; accepting that it may take time to find the right graduate job for you and not to lose hope in finding it.

If you are looking for further help then you can find lots of further practical advice on how to formulate a plan of approach on the graduate career advice section in our blog. This support includes understanding the graduate job market and graduate training schemes in addition to tailoring your CV and establishing excellent interviewing techniques.

About the Author

Chandler Watson

I am currently working as a freelance writer having graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2012 with a degree in Business and Marketing. Writing has always been my passion, something which I have now managed to turn into my full time job.

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