To all my early 20 year olds out there, I think there’s one thing that we can all agree on. Along with your early 20’s being probably the most confusing time of your life, throw in graduating post secondary school and you basically feel like a you’re a one man show on opening night, who can’t quite master the art of spinning plates, even though it’s expected of you to do all that while taming a lion, and nailing that trapeze act you’ve spent so long practicing. Okay…so I could be a tad bit over dramatic, but all in all post grad life kind of really sucks.
For most of us, a job isn’t always waiting on the other side of receiving that diploma, sometimes we find ourselves stuck in that part time job we vowed we didn’t want to be in for longer than our time at school. Over the last two years, through a cycle of; being unemployed, to working a 9-5 job, balancing passion projects on the side, and taking vacations from my full time job to work contracts in TV, these are some things that I’ve learned.
1. The more pressure you put on yourself the harder it’s going to be.
I’ve ALWAYS been a pretty go with the flow type of person, so when I graduated and INSTANTLY BECAME THIS CONTROL FREAK who NEEDED to apply for jobs EVERY SECOND I WAS FREE, I knew I needed to stop in order for anything to work out in my life. The process of letting go is never an easy one, but it’s so essential for anything to begin again.
2. Connections > Cover Letters
Take this one with a grain of salt. I’ve found that the connections that I’ve made with people outweigh any cover letter I could have ever written. The people that I have made a real human connection with – wether it be through volunteer work or going out on coffee dates have opened so many doors for me. It could have a huge part in the industry that I work in, but connecting with people and displaying your hard work goes a long way.
3. Mentors Mentors Mentors
I have so many strong women that I look up to in the industry that I am in. Some I’ve known since I was 17 years old, bushy tailed and wide eyed as I began my university career, and other I’ve met in more recent years. Having a mentor is SO vital, not only is is great just having someone older and wiser to look up to for advice, but it is another connection that opens more doors for you.
4. All that glitters, isn’t gold.
I got the best jobs of my career so far from a gig I had volunteering. One of my jobs as a volunteer that year was ripping water bottle labels off the bottles. Yup, not only was I already out of university when I did that but a ton of my friends didn’t want to work that particular event because they weren’t getting paid for it. Sometimes you have to do things, that might not be the most rewarding jobs ever to get to the jobs that bring you pure joy.
5. It’s okay to feel discouraged, but you have to get up and keep going.
I spent a good six months of my life post grad being sad and feeling discouraged, and what a glorious waste of time that was for me. Granted it was probably necessary for me at the time, but I spent a lot of my time focusing on the fact that I wasn’t getting interviews and focusing on what was going wrong. Looking back now by simply changing my mindset and focusing on the things that were going right for me would have made things a lot less miserable.
6. The people who believe in you are the ones that will help you fly.
I have the best group of people that surround me. From bosses at my various work places to the friends that I have kept throughout my life, it’s the people that you have around you that build you up. Be kind, be welcoming and keep the good ones close. If the people that surround you don’t build you up, help you shine and want to see you become the best that you can be – please – let. them. GO.
7. DO THE HUSTLE
(10 points if you get my reference) Now, the life of a hustler isn’t for everyone. I’ve always have a lot going on in my life all at once so balancing a lot even now has never really been overwhelming for me. Hustling never goes unnoticed. Work hard, play hard and sleep HARD (when you get the chance).
How did you find post grad life? Are you in the phase right now, let me know what your experience is like!