Adopt a Positive Outlook


Accept that change is part of life and embrace the new challenges

Girl With Question Mark Graduate Hat

It’s OK not to know

Some graduates have a vocational degree and follow a predetermined career path (e.g. medicine), but many more leave university without any clear career direction.

It’s perfectly OK not to know what you want to do.

It’s also fine to start off doing something that might not be right for you in the long term. Your first job is unlikely to be one you will want to do forever, but it’s a first step, and can only enhance skills and experience. It might even open doors in unexpected ways, through meeting people and making contacts; and it can be of benefit even if it confirms what you don’t want to do!

So just have a go!

Don’t worry if it’s not the perfect job.

Follow your own path

Try not to compare yourself with others.  Don’t feel pressured by what your friends are doing, or what family members think  – it’s OK to be different and it’s important to pursue what’s right for you.

Hold on to hope

Don’t give up! It’s likely you will be working for a long time and you will probably change jobs several times and maybe even career direction.

A sense of purpose and self-fulfilment is vital for general wellbeing. So when you have a job, if you don’t feel passion for your work, then don’t settle, don’t stagnate, keep on striving!   Consider setting yourself a target every month, to look for the sort of job you really want.

Recognise that the job application process takes time and effort

Don’t feel despondent if things don’t happen quickly.  Stay positive.


Reflect on the good things

Make a list of your strengths and skills.
If you get rejections, find out why if you can, and go back to your list – make sure you’re including your attributes in your applications.

Remind yourself of your good qualities and achievements, to pick yourself up a bit;  talk to someone else who can boost your confidence and bolster your self worth.

Recognise that job rejections are not a personal thing – it’s often just a numbers game.

Appreciate stability

When everything is changing, it’s important to have some consistency and stability in your life.  Hold on to what stays the same:  family, sports, hobbies, friends and relationships.  Change can make it a rocky time so don’t make hasty decisions that you might regret later.

Defy the statistics!

Don’t get caught up in the social script. Today’s media is full of reports on the negative version of reality, like news about unemployed youth.  Remember they rarely report the good news!

Find Out More

Mindset: Don’t Let a Better Life Pass You By…
Mark Swain, Director of Partnerships at Henley Business School, talks about focusing on your mindset, to implement positive changes in your life

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