I try not to keep posting on here too often as I don’t want people to be bored but unfortunately I read a lot of education news. This morning I came across this article in Times Higher Ed and was not surprised to hear the age old message (this time backed by research!) that graduates are selling themselves short when it comes to employment. I had a post poised and ready on this very subject dangit but instead I have rattled this off.
The notion of “a job is a job” is something I have heard from peers ever since we graduated. I have written about the different pathways they have taken varying from jetting off to other countries to moving to London to still living with mum and dad. Even if you don’t go straight into a ladder climbing role and you’re not a barista in a coffee place there are also those who hop between fixed term contracts trying to hoard as many skills as possible while still trying to make their mind up. Taking a role that you are overqualified for ultimately buys you time to think.
And while I love the idea that you don’t have to have your life mapped out in your twenties upon graduation I have definitely noticed a large number of people “delaying the inevitable” and seemingly shunning the idea of a career. While I am happy with the way I have gone about things I am not immune to envying the facebook updates with #nofilter scenery. Settling down or getting on the career ladder is driven by the notion that you have to have your life together relatively quickly after all the fun of uni. But what’s the rush?
There is a certain level of transitioning that needs to be done from university to “adult life” , three years down the line I am still learning. I think anyone coming out of uni should seek the advice and support of their peers and of people they know who have graduated before them in order to gain perspective. People ask “why don’t these grads have roles that befit their educational background?” and the answer may just be that University flies by so quickly that before you know it you’re out the other side and having to find work after what feels like only just turning in a dissertation or finishing a major project. Even still, as the THE article linked above says:
“We have been surprised by how often graduates will make bold assertions about the lack of opportunities, but when questioned, admit that they personally have done relatively little to test out the labour market,”
The key in all of this being a belief I have held on to for a long time:your fate post graduation is in your hands! If you make the effort, put the work in, make the time then you will be able to find the role you deserve not just the role you have to settle for. If there is anyone reading this who is dreading the job search after uni, is grappling with it now or wants to get ahead of the game as they are going into their third year wondering what this time next year is going to look like, I would recommend a book that I have found very useful and accessible.Click on the image to take a look.