✩ Tips For Life After University ✩
So it may have been a few years since I finished from University, but I look back now and wished there were more articles I could have read, that may have helped me with the transitions that were about to take place in my life.
Lots of people choose to move back home after University ends and either save up some money, go off travelling for a year or eventually they agree to move out and get a job. However I didn’t do any of that and had no eagerness to do so. My outlook on my life had altered a lot in three years and it had all gone by so quickly too!
I met my (then) boyfriend while I was at University and then he became my fiance while I was in my final year of studying. When we got engaged in our final few months of University I sat down with my parents and told them I wouldn’t be coming back home when my studying ended. I think they expected it having seen how we were together, but what I didn’t know was how difficult it would be to get a stable job after I graduated.
Neither of my parents had been to University and I was their eldest child, there were few people I could turn to for advice. And my other half graduated the same time as I did, although he had been private renting for a while with his job, and had more of an outlook on what he wanted out of the next year or so before we got married, but I was clueless a part from “I need a job to earn money”.
I was extremely lucky to have my partner at the time, he supported me through some hard months of insecurity. It took many weeks after graduating for me to find work that I was satisfied with, and although it was the recession at the time and work was scarce, I still lived in a city and didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it was. I applied for several jobs a week, took to the local town centre and handed out CV’s… but nine times out of ten I was told I was over qualified and they wouldn’t give someone like me an interview, in the fear it was just a stop gap before I found something better. Which was sort of the truth, but knowing I was getting married I just needed money behind me, I didn’t mind what sort of job I did then, degree related or not, it was what I required to get by at that time.
You may be more lucky than me, and get a job in your chosen career almost as soon as you complete your degree. However if you don’t find that to be the case, then you can make life a little easier by taking steps to help yourself with finance and support.
(Sabrina on her Graduation Day).
✩ My Advice ✩
So the rest of this post is almost like a note to myself, if in hindsight I could have given myself advice for the eight or more years ago that it has been! If I could tell Sabrina of eight years ago anything, it would be these things… And you can now take my tips and see if they help you in your own situations, if they do then great!
✩ Have a clear out before you move out of your University hall room / shared house.
I cannot stress how much crap you’ll accumulate in your time at University. Things that you probably did need for three years but now more than likely won’t use (unless you go straight into a degree related career). So make sure you find time to clear things out before you pack up to move out or move back home. During nights out I recall getting a variety of fancy dress items and so much else, you won’t really need these things, and you should be ruthless (not like I was at first) and get rid. The same goes for clothes that you’ve worn the three years, and may make you look like a “student”. Remember if you’re going off into the world to be an adult worker you will need to look the part too.
✩ Open a savings account as soon as you can in your final year, and move money in to it every month, but do not take anything out of it. This is your account for emergencies, rent, food or travel money for interviews etc.
There will be no excuses to your parents or partner for not being organised enough to get a train ticket for that interview you’ve managed to get. By putting a little aside you’ll be able to keep your independence and pay your way for a bit after Uni finishes. Of course you’ll need to find a job if an opportunity doesn’t come up from your degree itself, but everything you can do to plan ahead will help.
✩ Keep the contact details for current or past employers, and your University Tutor for upcoming references when it comes to job applications.
The more people you have giving you glowing references the better, but it also needs to be quality and not quantity. Most employers look for three references, but if you have only studied and not worked during your final year then a tutors opinion can go a long way.
Hopefully you have enjoyed reading this post, and that my tips may help someone out this summer with their own transition.
If I can answer any questions about my experiences then please send me a comment.
✩ Sabrina ✩