When you started uni you probably didn’t think further than graduation, and now it’s come around faster than you could ever have imagined.
If you are one of those who has been concentrating solely on studying and have yet to think of any future plans, sitting on the sofa watching box sets will soon become boring, as much as you might think they’d be the perfect antidote to three years of hard graft. If you’ve had to move in with your parents, or are spending all your earnings on rent, here are a few things to think about to steer you towards adulthood and beat those post-uni blues.
Sort out your social media
Once you leave university your social media will be heavily scrutinised by every potential employer, so make sure that you have a cull and offer your best face. Join new networks such as LinkedIn which will give you the opportunity to showcase the work that you’ve already done and tell employers what career paths you are interested in.
Get a job, any job
Work. Having some form of employment means that at least you’ve something to get up for in the morning so you don’t end up in some stultifying stupor that you can’t escape from. There are lots of options for work available, with catering, bar work and retail being the most common, and remember that these still give you essential skills like teamwork and communication which you can use to sell yourself at an interview. Furthermore, working while looking for your ideal job looks much better on your CV than having to explain gaps of unemployment.
Create a plan of action
It’s most likely that you already have a job of some sort to keep you going, but create a further plan to run alongside your job so that you don’t end up there five years later before you know it! This could involve applying to a couple of jobs a week that you are actually interested in as a long-term career. Or it may be applying for anything specifically suitable for the role you would like. You may be looking to travel, and your plan could be to save enough money so that you can see the world. After six months, if you’ve not had much luck, re-evaluate your plan. It may be you shouldn’t be looking for a job with quite so much experience and have to tailor your job search accordingly.
Help out in the community
Regardless of whether you know exactly what you want to do or are especially clueless, volunteering is a way of exploring a world outside your comfort zone. It gives you the opportunity to meet new people and gain new experiences, and if you know what career you’d like it can give you specific skills to take to your employer. Even if you have no idea what you’d like to do, volunteering shows that you’re someone who takes an interest in the world and is motivated in their personal journey.
Know your rights at home
Moving back home as an adult, especially after you’ve had a few years of freedom can be tough, so between you and your parents and any siblings, you might have come up with some ground rules. This might include whether you are going to pay your parents any rent or money for your utilities and food and whether you are going to help around the house, for example, have one or two nights where you do the cooking or a designated chore like the laundry.
Hobby it up
Now that you're free from the university you’ll have so much more time to indulge in a new hobby or one that you’ve kept on the back burner for a few years. There’s nothing like doing something completely different to take your mind of life and now is the perfect opportunity.
Sort out your finances
Regardless of where you live after university, you don’t have a student loan to rely on, and the money you earn will be it! Decide what you are going to do with your earnings, whether it is saving a certain amount so that you can eventually leave home for a place with your friends, or travel the world, and set aside monthly goals which will feel like you are achieving something! You might also have an overdraft to repay which also needs to be factored into your expenses.
Remember to still take advantage of offers for young people, for example, the 16-25 railcard, and discount theatre tickets. Some banks also offer graduate bank accounts which you might want to have a look at, as they will give you better rates and better deals than normal bank accounts, for example, three years to pay off your dreaded overdraft!
Remember to party
Once you’ve left university, remember that your social life is not over. Even if you’ve moved back home take time to see your friends and dedicate some of your earnings to visiting them and perhaps going on holiday with them. Post-uni is also the opportunity to get in touch with your old school friends if they are still nearby and make new ones outside of education.