For the final guest post whilst I am away I thought I’d do something a little different. A lot of my readers are university students so I thought it’d be great to hear from a couple of recent graduates about their university journeys, life as a graduate and their advice to upcoming grads.
Beccajanelee – Becca
No Bullshit Tips For Landing Your Dream Job
Despite what you might have heard, a degree isn’t a golden ticket to your dream role.
While Lauren is off galavanting the world I’ll be guest blogging for you today! So a bit about me before we get into it… I’m Rebecca, 23 and I have a job I love (but still getting my head around) in Public Relations.
I started my Bachelor of Communications in 2010 with huge dreams of becoming the next Judy Bailey, mother of the nation. I studied my butt off, worked part time and did as many internships as I could. I still didn’t land the dream role ’til a few years after graduation.
Upon graduating in 2012 I worked at a start-up tech company. This was great but high pressure, directly reporting to the founder and CEO. I’m also not good with numbers so marketing wasn’t for me.
I then skipped the country and began working at a magazine company in client services. While this was a great entry level job there was no room to grow in the role or company. I yearned for more and quit, with no other job lined up, and started applying for jobs that weren’t just “entry level”.
Long story short, I got one. And it rules.
If you’re stuck in a rut after graduating and want to land the job of your dreams here are my six no-bullshit tips (not for the faint hearted or easily offended):
Find what you love:
I encourage you to take up as many extra-curriculum activities you can fit into your week. While studying I worked part time and then ensured I was always part of an internship or volunteering somewhere relevant to my degree. I found I didn’t actually love newspaper journalism, I’m awkward on film and I talk too fast for radio. Which sucks when you’re doing a media degree but it’s great to filter out what you don’t love so you can focus on the stuff you do.
Be a “yes man”:
If someone asks if you want to do something, get like nike and just do it. You will never regret doing something new. This is VITAL because employers will ask you to do many tasks you don’t want to do or you’ve never done before. You say yes. With a smile.
Donate some of your time or skills to a charity you care about. It might not directly relate to your dream job but it’s really good for the soul and gives you a better understanding of life outside your own bubble.
I know you’re 21 and just finished uni but you actually don’t know it all! It’s hard to hear, I know, but the fact is no one knows it all. Do all you can to soak up the information around you. Read heaps, talk to older people, watch documentaries, read signs… whatever, just don’t stop learning.
If you straight up hate what you’re doing, quit. Not having a job is the best way to force yourself to find one. I moved to Melbourne with barely any money, only two friends and no job. Your animalistic survival instincts kick in and you gain confidence, you start to walk into businesses, hand in your CV, call people, talk to strangers… You take risks and you find a job.
Suck it up:
You may not have your dream job, the pay is probably shit and your co-workers may suck but it’s a job and you’re lucky to have one when you’re fresh out of uni. Suck it up, get the experience and continue doing what you love after hours until you can do this full time.
It will pay off in the end, I promise.
Snowrii – Rina
I entered the University of Auckland with the purpose of completing a Bachelor of Technology specialising in Information Technology. In contrast to many fellow students, I knew the general direction of where I wanted to go, so there was no issue of wavering between degrees or changing halfway through.
The courses I selected weighed so heavily in Information Technology that if I wanted to change degrees, there was no way I could do it without having to supplement some papers. I’m quite easy to call quits, so it was the best way to keep myself on track and persist to the end.
I wanted to get first degree, but I knew I didn’t deserve it for the amount of effort I put in, and now that I’m working it’s true that nobody gives two cents what honours grade I got haha
I am currently in the graduate program at Vodafone – it’s a two year program which rotates you through four roles in all aspects of the business – from customer facing, to technical teams, to operational functions. It’s a great opportunity to experience all the different kinds of roles that go into each aspect of a large organisation, and it puts you at the border of your comfort zone since some roles might require a little more specialised knowledge which means great cross-functional learning opportunities!
My top 5 tips for grads:
1. Keep an open mind for the organisation you want to go to. Apply for everything, even if it’s a company not noticeably aligned with your degree specialisation. There are roles that cater for all sorts of backgrounds in every company! Check out GradConnection to find the grad program opportunities
2. Learn to network effectively, quickly, and early. This especially applies to introverts. There’s no way to avoid networking!
3. Check out your MBTI and how to effectively communicate with people of other types – this will be critical for networking and creating your personal brand.
4. Focus on what is key to being a grad in your specialisation – what specalised knowledge is crucial to know, and what will set you apart. Prioritization is key to having good time management.
5. Keep calm and enjoy life! If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, then it might not be the right place for you 🙂
Thanks ladies, I’m sure I’ll be referring back to this closer to graduation!
Featured image sourced from Picjumbo