Combat anxiety as a recent graduate: fear for the future, indecisiveness about your career path, responsibility and the ever-present pressure to succeed. All these can lead to anxiety. Anxiety about your future as a graduate heading out into the world to make your mark and get that coveted first role. For so many including myself, this is/was the case. Many of us have been told in no certain terms that it’s up to us and we’re on our own. This though is simply not the case.
What about me?
My personal experience is that of graduating in 2016. I spent months directionless with foggy recollections of agonised over cover letters and curated CVS only for it all to be in vain.
Would I ever get a chance to make it into the marketing world? Will I get a job? Then my employer will find out I’ve pulled the biggest con in getting myself hired since Hollywood started ripping beloved movie series apart with never-ending sequels and prequels.
Ok maybe not that drastic but anxiety underpinned and in many ways undermined everything I did as a recent graduate. But remember: you didn’t just get here by chance, you already had the skills to succeed once and you can do it again.
Although it seemed hopeless and I thought I was doomed to read “we’re sorry to inform you” for evermore it got better. As a graduate, I experienced a tunnel vision of sorts, that it was up to me to push on and succeed.
What I forgot was that so much of my success wasn’t achieved because of me individually. I had tutors, lecturers, friends and classmates who would help me at every turn. Whether this is asking questions relating to a project or a late night call to gossip about my thesis to a friend as if it were some entity coming in to ruin my life.
Combat worry as a recent graduate: my advice.
My advice would be to look at the structures of support that are there for you. Many colleges have a grad network to help with the transition into the working world by displaying job opportunities. As well as this many colleges continue to help with continued communication or social networks with those in a similar position to you such as a graduate Linkedin network in my case. You aren’t the first to wonder what’s next? Finding out with what was next for those in a similar position as you can help alleviate some of this anxiety.
Your friends, family, and college want you to do well and in most cases are eager to help. Leveraging these support structures like you have done so many times in the past can help you get to the next step (the first step in your career).
Communicate you are looking for opportunities. Find out what worked best for someone in applying for jobs in your career area and most importantly be patient. It took me 5 months after graduating to land myself in my first role as a project manager.
Stay positive and remember you’re not alone nor never have been.