There are loads of blogs and news stories about life after graduation with pictures of smiley and uber-successful grads posing at their desks. But I thought you might appreciate reading an alternative life after university story: mine.
Now you’re not going to see a picture of me posing at a desk in a trouser suit and stilettos.
I’m happy to be the poster girl for not having everything figured out. If you’re measuring ‘success’ in terms of finding a graduate job, I am pretty unsuccessful! I’ve had interviews and assessment days, but so far I’ve not signed on any dotted lines. But I am also not unhappy right now.
So, about me: in 2016 I graduated from university with a first class degree in English Literature with Creative Writing. I submitted my folio dissertation at the end of April and jumped on a plane a few days later to spend several weeks traipsing around South-East Asia before returning back to the UK just in time to attend my graduation ceremony. I wore the cap and gown, took the embarrassing pictures and celebrated a lot.
Then I moved back home.
I did a little bit more travelling over the summer before running out of money finally settling down to job hunt properly. I then had some work experience in a publishing house, and it was interesting but ultimately helped me realise it wasn’t what I was really interested in pursuing. So back to the job hunt.
But I only lasted about a month of this before staring at my computer screen and writing about myself for hours on end started getting to me. My social life was nothing compared to what it had been while at uni and my days pretty much consisted of job applications, jaffa cakes and the occasional gym session.
I had waitressed part-time throughout uni so I decided to get a waitressing job again just to mix up my days, keep me busy, and meet new people – as well as earn some cash. And honestly, for the most part I really enjoy the job, and the people I work with are great. But it’s also pretty flexible so I can still spend time applying to and interviewing for other jobs – indeed, as I write this, I’m sitting on a train on the way to London for an interview, and I took two weeks out last month to do some valuable work experience.
If anything, I find that being busier forces you to focus more and apply to only the jobs you are best suited to, rather than the ones which pop up in your Indeed search which you aren’t really interested in but think you might as well chuck a CV their way anyway.
Also, even a waitressing job stops any gaps forming in my CV while I job hunt. And I still have time to catch up with friends, get back into my music, go to the gym, etc.
You might be wondering why didn’t I apply to graduate jobs while I was still at university? And the truth is I did apply to a few, but I was determined to focus on everything else I had going on rather than sending out CV after CV, which I knew I could do later.
Now I’m not saying you should follow by my example, but maybe my story will make you feel better or at least less stressed about your own job search or post-uni life? Now I just need to get my parents off my case!
top image via