Life as a Graduate (and my last post!)
I’ve just graduated this year and now with summer over and my break done, I am preparing the long search for employment in a climate that is now, more than ever, so competitive.
After being in education since the age of four, it is a strange feeling to finally finish that chapter in your life and start something new. These last few weeks I have began the process of applying to roles and graduate schemes and finding myself quite stressed at the amount of applications to fill, assessment to complete and cover letters to write. I also have had this feeling of doubt in myself that, even though I am putting a lot of effort into every application I do, that I will be unsuccessful this year and I wanted to reflect on why I felt so doubtful in myself.
I believe that since starting school, you are constantly guided and you always know where you are going to go next and what path you will be taking and that route is mostly already filled out for you. I knew I wanted to go to university and do a subject I enjoyed and, although it took a lot of hard work, it was always a known route I was taking and one that, with motivation, could be almost guaranteed.
However, once you leave academia, your steps are a lot less guaranteed and you really have to go out and prove to everyone that you are capable and that you can achieve. This puts you in a position where, with vast competition and multiple applicant stages, it is highly likely that you will encounter rejection and probably a few times. This can be so disheartening and it can make you feel like you will never get a graduate position in a sector that you want and you can easily lose belief in yourself. When this has happened to me, I try to remind myself that these employers aren’t rejecting you, they are just rejecting a document that summarises you and sometimes that doesn’t or can’t represent you as well as you like. The most you can do is make yourself stand out as much as you can on your CV so that when these employers skim your CV or application form, they can easily pluck out the features of a good employee and someone who will integrate well into their team. I have been trying to do this by giving my CV a makeover and doing a bit of research on the type of terminology to use instead of the conventional phrases you may find. There are plenty of articles and resources online that can help you with this.
Even if you do have an amazing CV, sometimes you will still get those rejections because perhaps the employer believes that you won’t fit well into the role. When this happens, I also tell myself that this employer may have actually done me a favour and I could’ve started this scheme/role and realised it actually isn’t for me and doesn’t utilise and develop my skills. If you don’t get an opportunity, a lot of the time, it is for a reason and something better and more suited to you will come up.
Lastly, another thing that I didn’t realise is the amount of steps some schemes and companies have in their recruitment process. In some cases you will have to firstly fill out an application form followed by online assessments such as situational judgement or numerical reasoning. If you pass this then you may have to do a video interview followed by a face to face interview or an assessment day. It can seem very overwhelming especially when you are applying to many jobs at the same time. I have just been trying to not think about the whole process but to take every step as it comes and focus on preparing thoroughly and researching for each step when I need to.
Normally I try to give more advice in my posts but these processes are still relatively new to me too and I’m learning something new each day! You may feel like in the beginning you won’t have any success but applying for jobs is a skill, one in which you will improve and become more familiar with overtime so please don’t give up and have confidence in yourself and your capabilities!
This will also be my last blog post for OurWarwick! My image is a photo of me and my friends in front of the legendary photo spot at smack! These four years have been so inspiring, exciting and a big learning experience and I am so fortunate to have spent my last year writing on this platform and sharing my experiences. Whether you are continuing on in your course at Warwick, starting as a fresher or going into a new opportunity, good luck! You are all capable of so much and when you believe this, you will be able to achieve great things!
A big thank you to everyone who has made my four years at Warwick so great including students and staff!