The Ultimate Guide to Working After You Graduate

Congratulations, you’ve graduated! Three (or more) years of deadlines, reading, exams and coursework and it’s finally all over. You might find that after spending the last few years working towards the ‘end game’ of graduating, you don’t really know what to do with yourself. If you have the money, you might be going travelling – but more than likely, you’re probably going to be working your first graduate job. Prestige Recruitment Group has therefore compiled the ultimate guide to working after you graduate to remind you of a few important things! 

The Dramatic Change is Tough

Life post-graduation is tough, and nobody really warned you about it. Gone are the days where you’d be pulling an all-nighter in the library and no more ordering dominos at 3am on a Wednesday! More often than not, you’ll be in bed by 10 o’clock, and for the first few months, you probably won’t be seen out during the week. At first, finding out that 7am exists twice in a day will be difficult and your body clock may struggle, which can make you feel drained and tired all day. It may also be difficult when you realise you only get two days off work a week – the weekend. Never before have you appreciated a weekend as much as will do now! It’s tough, but don’t worry – eventually, your body and mind will adjust to your new timetable and you might even be able to go out mid-week again – though probably not stay out as late as you used to. You’ll appreciate free time more than ever before.  

You’ll also find that you’re going to be working with different people than you’re used to. At university, you probably lived or studied with a bunch of similar minded people. When you get your first job, you’ll find yourself working with people who are completely different to your mates at university. Depending on the company or industry that you’re going into – you might be going into a company at entry-level where you are the youngest and least experienced member of the team. Although it can be tough, your first job is a great opportunity to get a taste of the working world and you should remember that you are able to learn from every person you meet within your new role!

Networking is Important. Do it. 

Do you remember when you first got to university and you joined as many societies as you could? You did this to meet more people and make more friends. Networking is exactly like this, but in a more professional setting. Regardless of the job that you’re doing, it’s really important to meet and interact with people from different professional backgrounds – particularly in the industry you want a career in. There are tonnes of networking events all over the UK, and you never know when someone you meet is going to benefit your career choices in the future. Another great tool for networking is LinkedIn, where you can chat and engage with different companies and important people across your industry.

This Job Won’t Be Your Last

If you find yourself in a job that’s not immediately related to what you thought you wanted to do – don’t worry. Think about the bigger picture. Graduates today are Millennials, and often think that they are going to bag their dream job immediately. This usually won’t be the case – and that’s completely fine. As the job market gets tougher, use whatever job you’re doing to develop skills that will help you eventually get your dream job. You’re still learning and you’re not going to know everything straight away. Our associate director says ‘We have had many conversations over the years with graduates encouraging them to realise they have to 'kiss a few frogs' before they get their dream job. In the job market it’s all about interpersonal skills that will set them above the competition not necessarily about the best grades. Being able to effectively communication and show your passion is key.’

Ultimately, it’s up to you. 

At university, you were pretty much left to your own devices. You were set coursework with deadlines and it was up to you to see your tutor and ask for feedback. Working is no different to this. At the end of the day, the impact you make is completely dependent on you. Show your passion, network, support your company the best you can and make a name for yourself! You have done really well to graduate but you need to understand that your degree isn’t necessarily everything – and you should work and develop your skillset and knowledge within the working world. This doesn’t mean that just because you’ve graduated, work has to become your life. In fact, you might still go out drinking on a weekend – but your hangovers will probably be much worse! 

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