10 things I wish someone would have mentioned before I graduated:
The chances of walking into a job are pretty slim.
Yeah some people get lucky but the majority of graduates in this economic climate are returning or staying in their part time jobs. Stop gap jobs like bar work and retail are popular and although they are all respectable occupations they are probably not what you envisioned when you done your degree in physics.
No matter what you do, don’t move back home.
If you moved out of the family home for uni there is nothing more soul destroying than moving back in. The siblings you left behind have become more annoying; you are invading their territory after all. Your room is no longer your room but a room where all the debris from the house has been placed. Think of it as a skip with a bed.
It’s experience that really counts.
The emphasis your parents and teachers placed on getting a degree is all S#%t!! Employers want people with experience and you can’t get experience because no one will give you a job; because you have no experience. See where I am going with this?
Be good at being unemployed.
You worked hard for 3 or 4 years, stop stressing! Get a part time job, catch up with old friends and enjoy the peace and quiet! For a wee while at least.
Expect a lot of rejection.
Employers are receiving that many applications that all you can expect in return are a stream of rejection emails. The majority of which simply state that your application will not be taken any further and they are too busy to give feedback.
Money isn’t everything.
I hate people who hold so much stock in having money. So much to the extent that they would rather be miserable and rich instead of broke and happy. If you have people who love you then you’ll always have a roof over your head and food in your belly. What ever happened to having drive and ambition. I’d rather hold out for something special than work a rubbish job just because I’m scared to take a risk.
Explore your options
Say to yourself that if say, in six months/ a years time, you haven’t gotten an entry level position you are going to do that thing you always wanted to do. Wether it’s going traveling, starting your own business, getting your masters or even writing your own book. Don’t feel dejected there are many ways to reach where you aspire to be.
Keep applying and don’t let it get you down. It will pay off eventually but in the mean time volunteer and pester employers to give you experience. Even if your aren’t getting paid it’s another reference and another point on your CV.
The worst question in the world is, ‘so what are you doing with yourself now?’
For anyone who isn’t working in an entry level position or doing a masters this is the worst imaginable question you can be asked. Unfortunately it is unavoidable, you just have to grin and bare it. It’s tough saying you aren’t in the ideal job but it’ll come eventually and then you can brag all you want. Just remember you are not alone there are so many, too many, graduates in the same position at the moment.
Worrying about a time frame and your life being over because you think you should have everything figured out by now is pointless and terrifying. You’ve got time. Don’t spend your twenties worrying because you haven’t got it all worked out yet.