If you’re feeling tentatively excited about the future, but your optimism is tinged with a mild panic that everyone else is getting sorted much quicker than you… then you have come to the right place…we’re here to help! Welcome to Hello Grads! We’ve got tons of tips to help you through the next chapter – whether it’s figuring out what to do next, applying for jobs, sorting your finances or signing a rental contract.
I’m Sophie, a recent graduate, so I understand the mix of emotions and well-intended comments from friends and family about what to do with your life. So I’ve gathered my Top Ten Tips to get you going.
Making a start
Graduation means new beginnings, bringing exciting opportunities and fresh challenges to many aspects of your life. Any major change can potentially be stressful; and whilst we can’t totally prevent stress, one of the best ways of dealing with it, is learning how to manage it effectively.
‘Taking control of your life’ can be harder than it first seems, especially when it’s the first time you have done a lot of these things. Check out our page here, which will give you an overview of the things you might like to start thinking about.
Grad Bites: Preparing For Life After University
Mark Rice, a career coach, suggests ways to prepare for life after uni, including networking and making yourself work ready.
Dealing With Change as a New Graduate
Charli talks about what life has been like since she left uni a year ago, the changes it brings and how to deal with those. Ross Tuffee founder of Dogfi.sh Mobile (now Vidatec) also features, giving his tips on dealing with change.
Find your people
As the ‘Bost Uni Plues’ play shows, it’s so important to stay in touch with your friends. You’re all graduating together, so take advantage and share your hopes, dreams and fears with each other, keep talking and keep sharing. Loneliness is one of the most common problems new graduates face, so by being aware now, you can think about how you might prevent it.
This can also happen for those who move back home, it can feel like a backwards step rather than a temporary move. But our advice would be exactly the same for those living in a new place or moving back home…
Put yourself in situations where you will be doing something you love, are interested in, or allows you to interact with people: Join a team or club e.g. sports, art, theatre, book club, phone your friends, do a cooking course, work in a workspace, get a part-time job while you search for a full-time one.
How to Deal With Loneliness
If you’re suffering a bit, this might be for you. We discuss why we feel lonely and how to deal with it.
Folk Laws – to Move Back Home or Not...
See our blog on making the choice to move back home or not.
The Reality of Moving Home
Lotty has recently moved back home and speaks of settling in, finding it quite tough but now really appreciating dinner on the table!
Unsure which way to go and what to do? See our career direction articles, videos & blogs.
How to decide on your direction, find out what’s out there, what you can do to get closer and know yourself better, and much more.
Grad Bites: Not a clue what to do? Help from a Life Coach
Chloe Garland is a life coach, who specialises in helping people who have just started their careers and are struggling to find direction. Hear her top tips for helping you decide.
Grad Bites: Career Choices – What’s important
Bruce McKendrick, CEO at Forest Holidays, discusses how he has found opportunities and worked his way through a fulfilling career. He explains how to decide whether a company is right for you.
Create a professional presence
Your CV and your social media profile are both extremely important in creating a positive impression, and should be sorted before you even start looking for jobs.
How to Create a Standout CV
Our top tips on presentation, what to include, and what employers are really looking for.
How to Make Your CV Sing & Zing
Mark Swain, Director of Partnerships at Henley Business School, shares his top CV tips; as an experienced recruiter, he has looked at thousands, so this is definitely worth a read!
Your social media & LinkedIn profile
Please don’t underestimate the importance of perfecting your personal and professional profiles.
Social media can help or hinder your chances of achieving the job you want. Check out our social media content, which talks you through how to make it work for you, create a positive presence and how to connect with people.
LinkedIn: There are over 562 million users on LinkedIn – that’s a lot of people, companies and potential job openings! We have some tips on LinkedIn here, but if you sign up to our newsletter (click the big pink button saying ‘Get Involved’ at the bottom of the page), you will receive our LinkedIn Hack Pack, which is a FREE guide to setting up your profile, building your network and using it as a jobseeker.
The job search
Job hunting can be a relentless, time-consuming task. Rejections never get easier, but there are ways to make the whole process just a little more comfortable:
- Set your routine – decide the hours you’re going to apply, and stay focused on the task.
- Don’t rush – a few really well-constructed, tailored applications to companies you like, are much more worthwhile than rushing off a load of generic ones, which won’t get you very far.
- Do your research – This is SO important. Don’t fall down on simple bits of research you can do, including (not just) looking at the company website, their social media channels, catching up with industry news etc.
- Who are you writing to? Find someone you can contact personally, for example someone in HR (the more senior the better). Unless there’s a formal application process, this can be a great way for you to find out more about the company you’re applying to and ask loads of questions!
The Job Search
For more tips and info on the job search, including where to search for openings you might not find on recruitment sites.
Grad Bites: Leaving uni – The Job Search
Adam Bewley, Senior Global Account Manager at Spark 44, talks to us about how he approached the job search – where to start, who to approach and how it worked out for him.
Make the Best Impression
How to stand out at every stage of the application process.
Follow your path
Parents and other well-meaning people might suggest contacts, companies or roles for you to consider; by all means do look and do your research. However, you must be sure you’re following what you want to do. You’re much more likely to be happy and successful doing something you really enjoy.
You might also meet up with friends and course mates, or see them posting on social media: ‘I already have a grad scheme lined up’ or are set on where they want to go etc. Great, well done them! This doesn’t mean you should just follow suit; take your time to find what’s right for you. Bills can be paid by part-time jobs until you find what you want.
Do What You Love or Love What You Do?
The importance of doing something you’re passionate about
Personality: The Way to Find the Work You Love
The first of our five blog series from Mark Swain, Director of Partnerships at Henley Business School, on how to find work that makes you happy.
As you now know, ‘over 80% of jobs are found through networking, including LinkedIn’ (LinkedIn). It sounds rather formal, but it’s mostly about having a chat to find out more about people, their role and industry, and where your skills might fit in. So begin to build your network, starting with people you know well, then your wider social circle, alumni etc. Talk to as many people as possible, get on LinkedIn and message people. It can seem intimidating to start with, but the more you do it, the easier it gets!
Find out why it matters, how to find your network, plus questions to get you started.
Good questions to ask, to get you started.
How to Nail Networking
Some of our interviewees give us their tips for building and retaining your network
Get some experience
‘Over a third of recruiters warn that graduates without any previous work experience at all, are unlikely to be successful during the selection process… irrespective of their academic achievements or the university they attended.’ (Highfliers)
So, the moral of the story is – go get some work experience! It’s a great way of finding out what you do and don’t enjoy, and it often turns into a full-time role. It’s worth contacting companies directly to ask if they have any openings, particularly smaller or medium organisations who don’t use the well-known recruitment sites.
Internships & Work Experience
Understanding what you’re signing up to and your rights as an intern, plus some popular sites for finding internships in small, medium and large organisations.
Sort your finances
It’s wise to get your financial affairs in order early on, to avoid money worries now or in the future. Once you graduate, think about changing from a student account to a graduate bank account, because many offer favourable features. We also have tons of info on your student loan, including why you shouldn’t stress about it.
How to set up a budget, including tools to get you started.
What to look for when choosing a bank account, plus info on graduate accounts and mobile banking.
Why not to worry about your student loan, how the repayment system works, and whether you should pay off your loan early if you have spare cash.
Look after yourself
You may have neglected your health a bit whilst you’ve been revising, partying or just getting distracted by life, but take our word for it, if you start taking a little extra care of yourself, it’s amazing how good you will feel. This includes seeing friends, doing things you love, eating well, relaxing in a warm bath and having an early night. Once you start a work routine, you will feel tired and probably appreciate your bed more than ever, so listen to your body.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
From eating healthily, to exercising and sleeping, we discuss the why’s the what’s and the when’s!
Tried & Tested Natural Hangover Cures
Just incase you find yourself hungover, try these tips!… Let us know if they work for you.
A Digital Detox is Good for the Soul
Ever felt overwhelmed by the ‘always on’ approach of life? Well, a digital detox could be the one for you. Check out this blog to find out more.