Finishing your degree can be both a relief and quite stressful at the same time. I remember looking forward to finishing all my coursework, taking my final exam and expecting to feel much calmer once it was all over. However, if you have been feeling stressed for a long period of time, you may find it harder to relax straight after your university life is over. Having been through this myself, I wanted to share my experience with you so that your transition from academic to professional life can be as smooth as possible.
- Relax – Easy to say, harder to do. Schedule some time for self care and do things that make you happy, whether it is a gym class, binge watching a Netflix show or a little shopping trip.
- Get your life back in order – Now it’s time to get back into your everyday life routine. Sort out your university paperwork and keep all the material you think you will need in the future. As the final year of university can become a little chaotic, restore some order by doing simple things like tidying your room or doing a food shop.
- Get social – I remember isolating myself whilst I had to revise. This is the best time to meet up with all your friends and catch up on what has been going on in their lives. As your uni mates have recently been in a similar situation, it is always good to talk about your experiences together.
- See your family – If you don’t live at home, you have probably been neglecting them a little bit so try to make up for it and see how they’re doing.
- Travel – If you don’t have any plans for the summer yet, this is the time to have a summer break. When you get a graduate job, it will be harder to get a longer block of time off. So you can make some plans such as travelling around Europe or a road trip to Scotland whilst you have the chance.
When you start to feel a bit more like your normal self, you are ready to kick start your career. This can feel a bit difficult, but the sooner you do it the sooner you will find employment. So, sit down and consider maybe some of the following points that I found very helpful when planning my new career:
- Write down all the possible pathways your career could take and all the different job possibilities. If you’re not sure about the job titles, just make yourself a little mind map of what your interests are within the field that you studied.
- Identify your key skills, whether they are more general or more relevant to your dream job position, make sure you know your best strengths and know how to sell yourself.
- Make yourself a CV if you don’t have one or update the one you’ve got. Now make another one – what I’m trying to say is that you’ll most likely need more than one CV, so try to tailor a few sample CVs for different jobs you are interested in – keep hold of them all – you might be able to re-use them in the future.
- Start looking into all the job search engines, track your progress and contact anybody you come across that you think would know about a suitable position for you. Social media sites like LinkedIn can help with this.
- Schedule a careers appointment – If you have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to job hunting, applications and writing a CV or a covering letter, the University can support you for quite a while after you finish your degree. They will make sure you are on track with pursuing your dream career and help you if you have any doubts. Also, there are plenty of materials related to job hunting at the Firstpoint, as well as the Job Bulletin which is accessible online.
- Don’t turn down any interviews as everything is a valuable practice. If you get nervous, this is a great move as it will reduce stress by helping you know what to expect in future interviews. Even though your nerves might not disappear completely, the more interviews and experience you have the more confident you’ll get.
My last piece of advice for you is not to get disheartened. You might nail your very first interview and get your dream job straight after uni, but you might not. I have met many people who are incredible at what they’re doing but struggled to find a job they wanted for a while after they’ve finished. If you keep being consistent, new jobs will come up every day and you will find something that suits you!