Where Am I Now: One year after graduation?
As I sit here thinking about what I want out of my second job since finishing University, I can’t help but think about how much my life has changed one year after graduation. Gone are the days of 9am lectures, late night library sessions and £2 entry Uni bar nights, replaced by 9 to 5 work days, meetings and after-work drinks. Although it’s a very different lifestyle, it can be extremely rewarding, as well as truly knackering. Let’s go back to one year ago to see how I got to where I am today.
Getting that first job after graduation
Getting your first graduate job after uni – Don’t be too picky, ideally apply for things you think you’ll like but be open-minded, you might surprise yourself…
Unless you’re going travelling or continuing your education (bless you), the first thing you need to focus on after your graduation is getting your first job out of University. Having gone through this myself, I know how daunting it seems. The key is to identify a few areas you wish to work in and send out as many applications as you can.
As a Marketing graduate, I began searching and applying for marketing graduate and assistant jobs. However, the only ones showing interest were either very sales or commission based, which is not what I was after. After a while I broadened my searches to include Market Research and accepted a Research Assistant Internship at an Accounting firm.
I ended up really enjoying the role, even though it wasn’t what I was intending to do after University. However, I knew the experience would help me for the future. My advice is not to be too picky with your first job, as everyone has to start from somewhere. Being open-minded like this can even lead to you enjoying a job role you never thought you’d like, just as I did!
Once You Get The Job
Considering the sheer numbers of people graduating from University every year, you should give yourself a pat on the back for getting your first graduate job, it isn’t easy! However, the hard work doesn’t stop there. Here I’m going to give you a few tips on what to do and what not to do in your first post-graduate job, based on my own experience.
Although not impossible, it’s unlikely that you’ll spend your entire working career at the company you first join. This makes networking vital for your future. Socialising with people in and around your office not only gives you friends but also vital contacts who can be useful in your future endeavours. From my own experience, I found that this also helps make you happier at work, as everyone needs friends to help you get through a long day!
One thing you must not do is treat the job like University. You might have been able to get away with skipping lectures and handing in work just before deadlines, but if you want your graduate job to be a success you must be committed to working hard and to the best of your abilities. You can trust me as I say that getting a bonus or promotion for your hard work will feel much more rewarding than whatever you achieved at University!
When you get that first job after graduating, one thing not to do is take it for granted. There are thousands of other graduates looking for jobs. If you’re not trying hard enough, you could easily be replaced. One thing I would say is if you’re leaving the job for some reason, make sure you’ve got another job lined up, as you don’t want to find yourself in the same situation you were in after graduation.
The one recommendation I would definitely give to anyone in their first job after University is to make the most of it. Talk to the people around you, make contacts, keep yourself open-minded and learn as much as you can, and last but not least, enjoy yourself!
Become a DigitalGrad like Philip...
The DigitalGrads programme is a free graduate career accelerator in digital marketing.
We will teach you practical skills that count in digital marketing and will help you create a portfolio of digital marketing work. It's our job to get you a great one. Be like Philip and apply today to find out if you are eligible.