I've graduated! Now what?

Completing a degree is a fantastic feeling, however it can be as mentally draining as when you first started out. Once I had finished my last ever university exam earlier this month I could not express how relieved and proud I was. I felt amazing at the thought of beginning a new chapter of my life. Although at the same time, the question of ‘what do I do now?' overwhelmed me.

Many of us have a vision of walking straight into our dream job and saving money for that dream flat– and for a few of us, luck has been a great friend. I have sat stressing in front of my laptop scrolling furiously for my dream job in journalism, whilst I watch on to see my friends landing their ideal jobs in areas such as teaching and computing. I am over the moon for them all, but I am growing more concerned over my own career path.

Job hunting after university

After a month of searching I have one piece of advice – things don't work out how you would like them to. There are ways, however, that you can get around this issue. One of them, which I am most likely to carry out, includes scrapping the idea that things are handed out on a plate. You will achieve your dream career, although you may have to take an alternative route to get there.

The one image I can't stand thinking about is being stuck at home after graduation, bored out of my mind. I am sure this is also the case for many other recent graduates who would love to get stuck in to a career.

With this in mind, I have started looking at getting a full time job in an area such as retail. Although shift work may seem a nuisance, there are a number of plus sides. Most importantly:

1. You can still have your independence

Money is a great help, whatever job you are doing. It may not be your dream job straight away, but being financially stable will always give you the independence you deserve after university. It also means you are able to keep some extra cash behind to enjoy yourself, and reward yourself for all the hard work.

2. Paying your expenses on work experience isn't an issue

With a job under your belt, whatever it be, you can save your money to spend on things such as travel, food and accommodation for work experience placements in your dream career. Use this to your advantage, as work placements are a great way to get yourself recognise, and gain some vital experience in what you love doing.

There is more than one way to reach your goal and still be in a positive financial situation. It may take a little longer to get to where you want to be, but with some wisdom you can achieve anything. I found a quote recently that said:

“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.”

I couldn't have said it better myself.

About the author

Katie Palmer is a freelance writer and journalist who has just graduated from the University of Kent. She has written about saving money at the shops for the guardian, reported for her local paper and also had articles on music and fashion published by various websites and magazines.

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