Starting life after university can be daunting, yet it is one of the most exciting times in life. The journey of life after university will look very different for each person.
When I reflect on my own experiences after university, the path to establishing the career I wanted to pursue wasn’t straight forward. I initially set out to work in the advertising world having spent a year studying creative advertising for my masters. However, after several years in the adverting sector it soon became clear that this wasn’t the career for me. And so, at the ripe old age of 26, I set out on a career change. I now work within an international development organisation and
appreciate the varied experiences I went through to land me my dream job.
What I learned:
- Seek out opportunities to network- People are always happy to share their career stories and attending networking events can be a great way of establishing relationships with people.
- Establish if there are opportunities to be mentored by senior members of staff at work– Many workplaces run mentorship schemes so signing up to such initiatives are a great way of getting some 1-2-1 time (even if its digitally) with senior colleagues who you may never cross paths with.
- Don’t be afraid to change direction– If after a number of years in a role or position you find that you no longer enjoy or you have developed a passion for something else – it’s ok to re-train. This may mean you going back to university, applying for a graduate scheme, or starting an entry level position – take a long-term view of your career.
- Be your own cheerleader– At this point this saying is probably a bit of a cliché but there is an element of truth in this saying – which is confidence is key. After university you will cross paths with lots of different types of people, but one thing most leaders have in common is the confidence they have in themselves to deliver their job.
- Finding the right career is not always a linear path– whilst some of your peers may come out of university and land their dream jobs right away, this may not always be the case for everyone – don’t be afraid to take on roles that don’t fit your expectations to start with,there is always something to learn.