5 Things I’ve Gained From Jobs I’ve Had Since Graduating.

When I left university I thought I would get a job, stay in that job for a few years and not even have to think about another one until I wanted to. With hindsight I laugh at myself then, because what I didn’t know is that it’s simply not the case. 

From the examples I’d had in my life you worked in one place for a long time, people in my family had worked at the same place for over 10 years sometimes – they might have changed roles but they were with that company. The thing is, that didn’t seem to apply with me. 

I’ve moved around a fair few times since graduating. For some, it was simply the fact that my position wasn’t needed anymore and so my contract ended, from others I wasn’t right for the role and let go and some were simply short term contract roles. In some of those I was miserable and leaving was the best thing I did…but when I was made to leave I couldn’t help but feel like a failure. But, with the gift of hindsight I realised I actually learnt a lot.

Doing a good job is important but so are boundaries.

I’ve always been an overachiever, but I had to learn about boundaries. I would work and work and work way past what I should have been.

I needed to learn to separate my work life and my home life. To know that my job wasn’t my entire life (although this gets a little more difficult when you are working for yourself). I learnt that I work to live, not the other way around! It’s an important lesson.

Learning what I want and what I don’t in my personal and professional life

I learnt that I love the world of digital, have a passion for social and like to be creative. Traditional marketing methods never spoke to me short-term and instead of managing campaigns I wanted to be in the thick of it! I wanted to be writing, making, creating.

I also learnt that a 45-minute drive every morning and every night made me miserable, as did a rigid 9-5.30. That the corporate scene bored me and that I needed to enjoy what I was doing.

I have to look after my own health because other people won’t

In more than one of my jobs I felt that I had to hide any health issues I had, even mentioning the word stress was looked down upon. As if I couldn’t do my job.

When I worked late and gave my all, it wasn’t noticed or acknowledged but if I was overworked and got ill or wasn’t my ‘normal self’ it was pulled up. I had to learn the hard way I needed to look after myself because no one in the working world was going to.

Resilience

Every time I got knocked down I got back up again vowing to do better next time. Once, after being told my job wasn’t going to exist anymore I cried, drove back to my home town and immediately got online and started contacting people who might know of some leads.

Did I cry when these happened? Of course, I did, I’m human! Did I have times where I thought I just couldn’t do it and wanted to give up, duh! Somehow I did it.

There are good people in every company, organisation, etc

Ultimately in every single job I’ve had I met wonderful people. People who I’ve stayed in touch with to varying degrees. No matter what there are good people in the world and that’s always a good thing to be reminded of.

What have previous jobs taught you? I’d love to know in the comments below!

10 things I’ve realised since graduating

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On July 21st 2016 I graduated. I have an Upper Second Class degree in English Literature from Kingston University. It feels like so long ago that I put on that cap and gown, shook someone’s hand and became a graduate after 3 years of hard work. Then that was that it was done and I was launched into the ‘real world’. So, here I am a year later and reflecting on what it’s been like to be a graduate. It’s been a very weird year and after uni a pretty big come down I think. I’ve written about post uni depression but I’ve also had some great times. So, here’s 10 things I’ve realised in the past year.

It’s ok if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Everyone seems like they’ve got it together with Master’s degrees or travelling or jobs in the city. I had a job but still felt like I was drowning. I had no idea what I was doing. This wasn’t an essay I could logically put together and get a first on, this was real life. One year later and I’m only just working out what I really want to do because I’ve had experience! Just try things out, don’t feel like you need to know everything as soon as you have that bit of paper.

Most people don’t care what grade you got.

I was embarrassed, that’s right embarrassed when I told people I got a 2:1. I’d always slip in I was only 3% off of a First Class because I’m a perfectionist. Admitting I got a 2:1 meant I wasn’t perfect. The thing is, I’ve never been asked what grade I got, not once. The fact I got a degree was enough for all of my jobs. Some will want specific grades, but from most of my friends, they haven’t been asked either!

£2.50 double vodkas were a blessing.

I wasn’t a big drinker at uni, I didn’t go out all the time. That said, when I go out now I hate paying normal prices for drinks, almost £5 for a double vodka? Blergh.

Sometimes friendships aren’t meant to last forever.

I’m a firm believer that some people are meant to be in your life and leave. I had some friends in uni and we had great times before we drifted apart or the friendship broke down. I’m forever grateful for the memories though.

Life is going to change.

People move, get jobs, some get married, others will have children soon. Life is changing and going so fast and sometimes it is a little overwhelming and that’s ok. Take a moment and just appreciate the small things.

Sometimes you’re going to wonder if it was all worth it.

Getting a job, or a job that you’re passionate about after graduating is hard. It’s taken me a whole year to work out what I enjoy in a working environment. There’ll be late nights and possibly some jobs you don’t enjoy where you think, should I have just gone out to work? My hardest part was when I saw people buying their first homes after working since 16 and I know I’m nowhere near a deposit.

The only person judging you is yourself.

I got so worried about how other people would judge the degree I did, my grades, the fact Ali and I lived with the family. Really, the only person judging you is you. People know that taking your first steps is hard! Don’t beat yourself up!

It’s ok to ask for help.

I didn’t want to ask for help and there were times when I needed to. When I just felt nervous or worried or wanted reassurance.

You still have so much time!

You know when you’re young you have this plan? I want to be married by this time, kids by that time etc, etc. Let it go. You have so much time to do what you want to do. Take a breath and do what feels right for you!

Taking time for yourself is important.

It’s natural to want to do your best in a job, to want to see old friends, make new ones. That said, taking a bit of time for yourself is really important, I’ve talked about my top tips for self-care before, you’ll feel much better.

It’s ok to miss uni!

It was, for most of us, full of great times! Of course you’re going to miss it! That said, there are still good times to come.

Make time to see your uni friends.

My friend Joe and I try to see each other once a month, because he’s still one of my best friends!

Everyone’s Grad journey is different

It doesn’t matter if you go stright into work or travel or study! Everyone is different and so are their lives! There’s no ‘right way’ to be a graduate! Don’t feel pressured to do certain things.

It was the best time of your life…so far!

I had some times where I worried if this was it? Was I ever going to feel the way I did at uni? I had some low periods, BUT I realised that uni was only the beginning of my independence. There is so much more in life I have to look forward to and now I’m happier I’m looking forward to every exciting thing that’s going to happen!

You did something pretty amazing.

You got a degree, that’s awesome. Go you!

 

What did you learn after graduating? Let me know in the comments below!

Settling in and Adulting Hard

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It’s been 35 days since I accepted my first full time job. In the past 35 days I’ve bought a new car, left my two part time jobs, started a job, moved out of mine and Ali’s first home, voted in the European Referendum, booked my graduation, got my results, released two new singles and played the main stage of the biggest free festivals in the South East. I get up, shower, drive to work, design, market and all that jazz, get lunch with some colleagues, maybe cuddle a dog or two, then I drive home and for the past few weeks I’ve always had something to do or somewhere to go. To say I’ve been busy is an understatement and so I hope that you will understand the reason the blog has been so all over the place!

More than anything post uni life has made me tired but happier. The end of uni was hard, third year wasn’t my best and I was terrified of what the future was going to hold. That’s not to say that everything has been easy starting my new job. I almost had an anxiety attack on my first day, I’ve been trying to understand the ins and outs of the company as well as working out how the hell I fit in. I’m lucky though, I have a great team of people who are genuinely nice and supportive. I haven’t found anyone who I don’t get along with (which is good because there are less than 20 of us).

Slowly and surely I’m finding my feet in the big adult world. There have been some wobbles and times when I’ve sat there and thought ‘I don’t know if I can do this’. I’ve had days where I’m so tired I’ve just cried for no reason and yesterday I got very lost in London (that was something I got very stressed about). The thing is though, knowing I have a team that I can ask questions to and rely on is a brilliant feeling. I’m still the new girl, I will be for a while but that’s ok. In the meantime I can work on this whole ‘being an adult’ thing…that might take a little more work.

Image from Pinterest