That was good, now what?

So you’ve graduated from university, ‘temporarily’ moved back home and you’re thinking, that was good, now what? The temporary move home starts to become more permanent and before you know it, you’ve fallen into the trap that many graduates find themselves in; a lengthening stop-gap. Fortunately for you, I’ve investigated some of the online sources that offer advice to graduates dealing with post-university life and compressed it into something like, bite size chunks. 

Moving back into the parental home can be unsettling for both graduates and parents. It can often be the case that the dynamic has changed since you moved away to university, which is why it is important for both graduates and parents to be upfront about what is reasonable and what they expect from one another.

  • Agree on a few basic house rules and offer to help out around the house, that way it scores you some brownie points and makes it look like you’re welcoming responsibility.
  • The privacy of having your own bedroom at university can seem like a distant memory. If you don’t want your brother to stroll into your room semi-naked and borrow your deodorant, ask him not to. And vice versa, respect each other’s privacy.
  • Not many parents will be too crazy about graduates treating their house like a hotel, raiding the cupboards and leeching money off them for a few silly sodas at the weekend. Discuss financial contributions and agree a fair amount that you can afford to contribute once you’ve secured an income.

Searching for and applying to jobs becomes quite discouraging after you’ve completed your 20th application of the week, without receiving any feedback whatsoever. But searching the various job sites isn’t the only way to bag yourself a job.

  • Discover local business clubs/networking events in your area and get yourself along to the next meeting. It’s a great way to meet potential employers, make new connections and it will help to build your confidence.
  • Sign up to specialist graduate employment sites which will save you a great deal of time. Sites such as www.brandrepublic.com and www.gradcracker.com are sites that are tailored to specific disciplines which narrow your search and will save you a great deal of time.
  • Volunteering your services for charities or local businesses provides you with an invaluable opportunity to gain relevant experience and acquire new skills. But don’t just volunteer because you think it will look good on your CV (which I am guilty of). As admirable as it may be, if you want to progress into an entry level job, you can’t afford to devote your time to organisations that you aren’t going to gain anything relevant from.
  • The majority of graduate employers now implement psychometric testing, and they’re not the easiest thing to master. But the age old saying’ practice makes perfect’ couldn’t be more applicable in this case. Visit sites such as http://www.shldirect.com/practice_tests.html and http://www.psychometric-success.com/ to become a pro and glide through those numerical reasoning tests.
  • Social media is becoming an ever growing popular method of recruitment. Job seekers across the globe are trying to summarise their CVs in 140 characters or 10 second videos. A survey (completed by 300 recruiters) conducted by Repper found that 68% of recruiters hired based on a candidate’s social media presence. However, exercise with caution, as candidates have also been rejected based on content on their social media pages. Make sure recruiters won’t be able to see those pictures of you vomming outside your local Weatherspoons on a Friday night. There’s a fine line with social media, make sure you don’t cross it.

One of the main motivations to start Inspector Graduate was the lack of post-university guidance and support available to graduates. And although these agencies are thin on the ground, they do exist and they should be utilised.

  • JobCentre Plus advisors ultimately have the aim of getting you off JSA and into employment, and your career preferences don’t matter a great deal to them. But nevertheless, they are there to advise you. If you have questions, ask away. If all the jobs that you are applying to specify that you need to be proficient in Excel, make your advisor aware of it. Part of their job is to assist you in becoming more employable.
  • Contact your university careers service and find out how long they will offer careers advice for following graduation. The Careers and Employability Service at the University of Liverpool, the university which I attended, offer advice up to five years after graduation and also offer advice to graduates from other UK universities. Contact universities in your local area and enquire as to whether they will advise you in your job search.
  • Aside from JobCentre Plus, investigate the support services available to you in your local area. Contact Citizens Advice to locate your local Bureau and arrange an appointment. An advisor will be able to assist you with your finances and talk about that gargantuan debt you’ve accumulated over the past few years.
  • If you find that you’re lacking relevant experience, contact local businesses in your area or research work placement programmes in your region. The Leonardo Da Vinci Programme is an EU funded scheme which places unemployed/underemployed graduates in work placements across the EU with the aim of increasing graduates’ employability. I found an agency in Newcastle that runs the programme and I’m currently halfway through a three month work placement in Prague, Czech Republic.

The online research that I have conducted wasn’t particularly in-depth, mostly because there isn’t a great deal of advice out there, which highlights the need for stronger support services for graduates. The advice that I have drawn on may seem like common sense, but if it is followed, I believe you will become more employable. There’s no denying that the university bubble bursts once you’ve graduated, but wasting your time on Facebook reminiscing on those care free days will only send you further into limbo. Try to be proactive during your stop-gap, don’t become a permanent fixture in it and remember, the opportunities available to graduates are pretty much infinite.

Stay posted for more gradvice.

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One thought on “That was good, now what?

  1. Very good once again very impressed and obviously speaking from personal experience can’t be anything but helpful to other grads!

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