Why You Shouldn’t Panic If You Don’t Get a Job Straight After Graduating
Once you’ve left university, it’s easy to feel like you’re under immense pressure to find a job as soon as possible and prove that doing a degree was worth every single penny of the debt you’re now in.
“How”s the job hunt going?”, you’ll undoubtedly be asked more times than you care to admit, and if it’s not going well, you’ll probably internally panic a little more each time. While some people are lucky enough to find jobs straight away, others take longer to find their feet and, for these people, the more time that goes by, the more intense that pressure becomes.
For whatever reason, not finding a job right off the bat can feel lonely and endlessly stressful, but here are some reminders of why you shouldn’t worry too much.
1. Getting a job is not a competition.
The only person you should be worried about is you; forget what everyone else is doing. For what’s probably the first time in your life, your future isn’t divided up into set terms within which you need to have achieved certain things. There’s no right or wrong amount of time in which you should be finding a job, and if someone tries to tell you otherwise they’re wrong ☺️
2. And there’s no shame in wanting to appreciate your freedom for a bit.
Yes, getting a job and starting to earn money straight away sounds great and would take a lot of pressure off your shoulders. However, once you’re in adult life, you’re in it for a long, long time and you’ll likely look back on these days right now and wish you could have this level of freedom again.
3. You can do all the things you couldn’t do when you were at uni, and everything you won’t be able to do easily when you have a job.
See your family, visit your friends, travel if you want to – graduate life isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Do what you want to while you have very few commitments to worry about.
4. You can really say goodbye to your student life.
Graduating university is a huge milestone. Celebrate it properly. You’ve earned the right to a few messy nights out and guilt-free days in front of the TV watching as many Netflix series as you can get through. You won’t be able to do it forever, so do it while you still can and enjoy it.
5. And can properly consider what it is you want to do next.
That’s not to say that if you get a job straight away you haven’t thought it through – many people manage to find great jobs they love within a very short space of time – but it’s also no secret that making hasty decisions for the sake of just getting a job is not always a good idea. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn’t. Do what you want to do, not what you feel obliged to do because that’s what your mates are doing.
6. You have the freedom to change your mind.
It’s much harder to decide that maybe you do want to go travelling after all or that actually you want to do this job instead of that one when you’re already working.
7. You can give yourself time to adjust to graduate life.
Whether you move back home or you go it alone elsewhere, the transition between student and graduate life can be harder than anticipated. You might not be able to call yourself a student any more, but that doesn’t mean you’re not still thinking like one. Taking the time to settle in and find your bearings is no bad thing. Better to do it now than when you’re already trying to acclimatise to working long hours and lots of responsibility.
8. And fully get to grips with the job hunt.
Let’s be honest, searching for a graduate job is notoriously cut-throat at times. Trying to enter into the fray when you’re still not ready and still not sure what you’re doing isn’t going to help. If you’ve given yourself time to figure out exactly what it is you want, it’s going to be so much easier to filter your job search and work out exactly what you need to ensure you’re the one employers choose.
9. You can gain some much needed confidence for future interviews.
More often than not, even the smallest of gaps on your CV between graduating and finding a job inspires fear more than confidence. You worry that employers will question what on earth you’ve been doing in all this time and why no one else wanted you, especially if you didn’t go travelling in the interim. However, if you can prove that you didn’t waste that time, it’s likely they’ll care much less than you think they will. At the end of the day, it’s your skills and your suitability to the role that count the most, not how long it’s been since you graduated.
10. Above all, time doesn’t always have to be a disadvantage.
Who cares how long it’s taken to find a job, anyway? It’s usually the fear that other people think you’re not moving fast enough that has you worried. When you do apply for a job, be proud of telling them this job is what you’ve been waiting for; it’s not just another job for which you randomly submitted an application. Graduate life doesn’t expire just because you’ve not got a job straight away. Roll with it and good luck. ✌️