Sunday, 17 November 2019

THE POST GRAD LIFE AND STAYING POSITIVE

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Good evening all, hope you've had a swell (albeit probably cold and miserable) Sunday and aren't feeling too envious of the snaps in this post of when I was in sunnier climes.

It's been a busy old two weeks since I last spouted off on my blog, there's been work, starting a new work-related course, a Manchester shopping trip, clearing out areas of the house and being a bit poorly in between, marvellous. But I'm back with a post I've been wanting to pop up for a few months.

I've already mentioned, in part, on social media, the difficulties of graduating university and moving back home with no job and wondering where the heck you're going next. It's stressful, I didn't expect any less, but it was far harder than I anticipated - in all honesty, it was horrific.

There's a tonne of things that university prepares you for; finding your way into the workplace, skills to make you employable and to help you deal with deadlines and whats expected of you, they put you into difficult situations in preparation for what you may face in the coming years etc.

However, theres a few things they don't prepare you for, like how you're going to feel job hunting day in day out, how low you're going to feel, the amounts of knocks to your confidence when you find yourself applying for jobs that you'd just spent 3 years working your behind off studying for to help you get away from.

In fact it's something I haven't seen anyone talking about, something I really could have done with when going through this, I wanted to not feel alone.

THE SOUL DESTROYING JOB HUNT

If there's one single bane of my existence, it's flippin' job hunting. I hate it with a burning passion - but then who doesn't? It's an uphill struggle and can often feel like there's no end in sight, and with having to attend the job centre every week, I constantly had to be on the ball so I could prove I'd been actively looking for work. Oh heck.

There's only so many sites to hunt and companies to beg for a chance, and it's soul destroying when you don't even receive a response, not even a thanks but no thanks. I felt a little bit like I was drowning and often lost faith.

I made a list of a tonne of sites to browse, job sites, company careers pages, fashion jobs, writing jobs, arts jobs, and dedicated portions of time to each sector and career move. Plus, I worked on my blog, because if that isn't the epitome of my 'brand' to try and sell to future employers, then what is?

TIP: Spending 7+ hours a day looking for work was tearing me apart, so I found that I needed to take a breather every so often, 15 minutes here, a few hours there, anything to not let the job hunt keep consuming me. Living at home is difficult through this period, you feel that you've got to constantly be trawling job sites so you can get yourself employed pronto and stop feeling like a leech, but you're only doing yourself more harm. It made me grouchier, more miserable and not wanting to leave my bed in the morning, so taking care of yourself first and foremost is extremely important.


ALL ABOARD THE FAILURE TRAIN 

Okay, maybe that's slightly dramatic, but after graduating with a First Class Honours degree, not being hired for even a simple job made me want to tear my hair out and hope I could get a part-time retail job to prove I wasn't totally useless.

All in  all, I felt like a failure for not having a job lined up post-grad. But not many do, as I've come to realise, so I've decided to stop beating myself up about it. I know I'm pretty good at some stuff, and someone will see that sometime soon and think about what a good candidate I'll be to hired to make their company even better.

TIP: Make lists of all the things you're good at; your skills, attributes, what you can bring to the workplace, what hidden talents you have - can you balance a spoon on your nose? Can you write epic hiaku's? Whether they're practical, useful or just plain funny, list it all and look at  all the things you're the bees knees at when you're feeling a little less than positive about yourself. 


DON'T MAKE ME SOCIALISE 

One of the first things I struggled with, after coming home, was being asked to go out with friends or relatives. For two months I dreaded going out, it had nothing to do with money or worrying if life had moved on without me there, it was solely over the fact that everyone wanted to know about what I was planning to do next now I'd graduated. How do you tell people your plans if you have zero idea yourself, when you don't even know what you'll be doing tomorrow.

TIP: Plan a little something to say, whether it's to laugh off 'I'm just perusing the job scene', to launch into what you want to do in the future, or you honestly tell people that you're still struggling to figure it out but you're working on it. Trust me they'll either be helpful and band around ideas and contacts, or they'll take your answer and move on. Don't be too afraid or you'll find yourself slipping further into a negative slump.


GRINDING TO A HALT

I definitely found difficulty in a slower paced life, everything felt like it had ground to a halt and suddenly there was so much free time that I didn't know what to do with it all.  It's a daunting place to be in when you've spent three years of your life being all go-go-go, meeting deadlines, cramming to have work completed and time management - there's a lot to take in which makes it feel all off-kilter when it suddenly stops.

But you've got to keep moving.

TIP: Find things to fill your time and treat your days like you would with uni. Make a checklist each day, set a portion of time to each thing and prioritise. Stick to it and set mini deadlines, but don't get too weighed down by them. This is really what I should have done, looking back, but hopefully this can be a good strategy for you. Going from such a fast pace to a standstill isn't good for you, so just slow it down a little and keep hitting milestones.


STAY POSITIVE

The most important part of this whole process is staying positive - whatever way you can. I've got a few tips that helped me - along with all the pointers above - and if they help you too then that's perfect news, you're part way there already.

VOLUNTEER

I very nearly volunteered as something to do, a way to fill my time and to give me a bit of structure and purpose - plus it's good for your CV! I know it's a difficult thing to take on, you're not sure whether you're going to start a new job in three months time or tomorrow. but a volunteer isn't supposed to be permanent, they are likely to leave, but you're providing them with help for as long as you're able to, it's a win-win either way.

CREATE, ENJOY, ACCOMPLISH

I was so terrified that I'd stop wanting to create anything, and at times I did, but I tried to throw myself into writing, photographing, building content for my blog to keep me active at something I really loved and enjoyed. It really helped focus me and gave me something positive to work on when I felt like the job search was fruitless.

Whether you're into drawing, writing, singing, vlogging, acting, running, exercising - anything - keep at it and dedicate some time to it each day, or every few days, to keep that positivity flowing. Don't give up the things that make you happy.

Everytime you've completed something, you'll feel far better and more accomplished. It'll block out some of that negative feeling and make way for a happier and more enriched one.

If you've been in this situation, or currently still are, how did you cope with it or how are you dealing with it? I'd love to know your thoughts, and perhaps your methods can help people feeling the same way.

Just please, if you're struggling, talk to someone because not doing so only makes things worse. Take it from me.
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Top - Topshop (Old)  //  Skirt - Forever 21  //  Shoes - Matalan (Old)  // Bag - Topshop (Old)
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S xo
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