So you’ve finally graduated from the revered institution that they call university. Where do you go from here? What path do you take as a new graduate, with a world of opportunities before you?
Contemplating the period after graduation can often be an anxious thought for university students and an anxious reality for those experiencing it. But it needn’t be. Here are ten things you need to know as a university graduate.
1. People are important
You may have memorised a textbook the size of Everest and honed your skills and techniques in whatever field you specialise in, but unless you are working in a very obscure profession, you will be dealing with people. Remember that there is no course that can teach you the art of social interactions. It’s all learnt on the job. So remember to treat people well.
2. Keep an open mind
You may never have to venture in a lecture hall or classroom again, but every day is still a chance for you to learn and grow. So keep an open mind as you make your way in the world. Don’t despair when you don’t hear back from the top graduate job opening. There are always more options out there to explore.
3. You’ve got the power… or at least a bit of it
Coming out of university with a degree places you on the upper side of the scale when it comes to pulling power. As a university graduate, it’s likely that you will be applying for graduate positions and the like. Should you succeed, remember that you do have the legal right to negotiate your salary. Don’t settle for just any job. Consider your options wisely and don’t be afraid to do a little bit of talking. It may just pay off!
4. Keep up your connections
Perhaps you’re thinking that life post-university is another chance to remake yourself from your college days. This may be true, but it’s important to still cultivate the relationships you made, whether with your learned Philosophy lecturer or the President of your favourite university organisation.
5. It’s a world of two sectors
“Surely the world is not so black and white,” you may think, but when it comes to picking a job, you would do well to keep in mind the divide between the public and private sector. If you haven’t already thought this through, now is the time to start. Do your passions lie in climbing the corporate ladder or working steadily as a public servant? Does this affect your graduate applications?
6. Location matters
Chances are that post university, you will move out of your existing home or college into a new property, particularly if you have secured a graduate job. If you are yet to find a place to live, make sure that it is in an accessible location. There are few things worse than heading to work every day as tired as a maid after an hour-long commute in peak-hour traffic.
7. Your future prospects matter… now
If you’re looking to have children in the near future, it’s wise to keep that in mind with all your life decisions, particularly regarding your choice of home. Though it may be easier to only think about the immediate future, if you’re looking to settle down and avoid another move in the next few years, you may want to consider living near a school or childcare facility.
8. Don’t freak out
It’s a big world, but you’ve had mighty training to get where you are. Fear causes the strangest, most illogical things to happen. While a healthy dose of it may be necessary, don’t let it prevent you from joining that new project or taking the graduate job that no one else would dare take.
9. Be prepared for failure
Having said that, learn to accept failure as something inevitable in life, if you haven’t already. While failure may have manifested itself as a grade or a subject to repeat in university, post university it has many different forms. Remember that famous example: Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before perfecting the science of the incandescent electric light bulb.
10. Take a piece of humble pie
You may have graduated from the most prestigious university in the nation or walked across the stage with first class Honours, but in the real world, these accolades won’t be at the top of everybody’s mind. Make sure they’re not at the top of yours as you venture out and make your mark.