Taking a look at the news this week, it’s hard not to get carried away by the stream of economic despair that again seems to be hitting the UK. UK unemployment rises again, talk of double dip recession…again, youth unemployment up….again, business closures and redundancies….again; the déjà vu of this never ending recession hits again. Having worked in commercial recruitment and dealt with the fall out and realities of recession and the actually reality of becoming a redundancy statistic myself, I can tell you, it’s not going to get economically better quickly or very soon.
However, and it’s a big however, the end is not nigh, things can and will get better, and my immediate question to you is “What skills, ideas, interests, abilities and passions do you have now that can make a difference now to your immediate futures? Recent graduates,you have attributes, knowledge, ideas, understanding, passion, drive and self belief that many older candidates would dream to still have…..so why not use them and use them now?!! Here’s my top tips for post graduation success…
1. Graduates, you often take for granted the understanding that you have of music, the arts, technology, whats in, whats out, whats next….How can you take advantage and relate this ‘grass roots’ credibility to an everyday problem that exists? Remember that marketing companies pay £ thousands to understand the student market to create student branding and student products. Therefore if your knowledge and your friends knowledge is priceless, use it…don’t just give it away!!
2. It’s not true to say that graduate programmes no longer exists. Yes, cutbacks have meant that it is a tougher market and there are fewer graduate programmes and placements. However, why not try something entrepreneurial, start your own business, it costs less than you think, and there are often local schemes to help graduates and the under 30′s with funding. If your business idea fails, use your experience in failing to your advantage when applying for a graduate scheme. My advice is that it is better to try and fail, than not try at all! Right now, if I was recruiting for graduates, it would be the grafters, the triers, and the doers that would get my x-factor vote, not just the graduates with the best academic grades. To put it simply, just because you get taught how to cook, doesn’t mean you can cook a mean steak, it takes practice and sometimes cooking it badly a few times, and failing, before you cook it right! To help you out then, although not on cooking steak! but instead on who the top Graduate employers for 2011 are and what graduate opportunities they currently have, check out the recently released, The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers list. http://www.top100graduateemployers.com/employers
3. Go Travelling! Now! Do it! Sorry for my enthusiasm, and it is not because I can talk from experience, but rather the experience of not travelling, which makes you understand that when you are 30, with a hefty mortgage, two kids and bills, leaving your job to go travelling is not, unless you are really lucky, going to happen! Therefore, if you are a recent graduate, and you want to see the World, see it now! The advantage of going travelling, apart from the obvious, is the life experience it gives you. Who knows also, what work experience you may gather along the way too. However the main point is that when you look back on your life, I am pretty sure you will look back on the life experiences you have had with as much, if not more fondness than the experiences you have had through working. Anyhow,1 year out of a work life of perhaps 45 years, isn’t too selfish is it!?! Again, if I was employing a Graduate, I would rather take a graduate who can talk about what they have done and where they have been, rather than quoting corporate spiel about what they want to do and where they want to go. Live it, don’t talk it!!
4. Realise how lucky you are and the opportunities you have in life!
5. Dream about what you can do and acheive!