Graduation is possibly one of the most satisfying moments in any student's life. You've spent years attending lectures, completing coursework and possibly pulling the odd all-nighter, but what happens when it's all over? What do you do with yourself on that first day when you wake up and realise that you're no longer a student? Well, we've got a few ideas for you:
Why not? You’re probably never going to get another opportunity to do nothing again in your life, so make the most of it.
Healthy body, healthy mind. Post-graduation is a great opportunity to improve your fitness. With a little bit of time off, you can carve out a pretty good routine for yourself, putting you in a better position for finding your dream entry-level role. The endorphins you'll produce as a result of exercise will encourage good mental health which is crucial during the job hunt. It’s not the easiest of processes, and you need to be resilient to any rejection you might face.
Temporary work or paid internships
You probably won’t find a job overnight, it's just the way of the World. In the meantime, earn some pocket money by doing some temp work or perhaps a paid internship. An internship, in particular, is a great way to get relevant experience on your CV if you feel it's lacking. This will break you into the working world gently, as well as provide you with the necessary pocket money you need for nights out, dinners and perhaps a cheeky holiday!
Throw yourself into the job hunt
There is an overwhelming temptation to bask in the security net of post-graduate limbo, where you’re probably living at home, having your bed made and your dinner cooked for you every day. You’re basically living in a hotel. But you could challenge the status quo of graduate limbo and actually make searching for a new role your full-time job. Make a plan of action and roll with it.
Go travelling/take a 'GAP YAAAAH'
This is potentially the last time for a while that you’ll be able to take an extended period of holiday. Some companies offer sabbaticals, which are great, but you don’t often qualify until you’ve served for a substantial period of time. If you can afford it, this could be the perfect time for you to explore some parts of the World that you haven't seen before.
Further your education
There are a number of different reasons why people continue to further their education at post-graduate level. It might be that you need to complete further training to qualify in a particular specialism, or perhaps you're interested in pursuing academia as your calling in life. Whatever the reason, this could be the right choice for you.
Indulge in your hobbies
Spend time doing things you love. If you’re a keen painter, go and sit in a field for the day and paint the landscape. If you’re a singer, why not spend your afternoons busking? Your chosen path of study and career may not be the same as your hobby. For most people this isn’t the same thing, so pay a little attention to some of the other things in your life for a bit.
Spend time with your loved ones
Why don’t you take some time out and dedicate it to your family? You might have family abroad or in other areas of the country, so plan some trips, or simply be there for your parents and enjoy your time with them. Not to get all morbid, but you’ll thank yourself for this extra time one day.
Collect up your recommendations
Recommendations and references are important, so spend some time reaching out to anyone whose reference might be relevant when it comes to looking for a new job. This might be your boss during your placement year or even your university lecturer.
This is a critical step that many graduates forget. If you embody the typical stereotype of the modern student, your social media is probably plagued by photos of drunken nights and bad costume choices. Believe it or not, many prospective employers will check you out on social media before or during the interview process, and you don’t want to give the impression that you spent all your time at uni in the pub. Turn that privacy up and remove images if you have to. On Twitter, make sure you remove any tweets that contain foul language or strong political or religious statements. If you want to keep them, set your profile to private.
After the buzz of graduation, things might not be all roses and butterflies for you. Post-graduation is not an easy time for a lot of young people and, at times, you might doubt yourself. Enjoy this time in your life and make your own way. You’ll figure it out.
If you’re still stuck in graduate limbo from last year, check out some of our new graduate jobs and apply today! Equally, if you're looking for a head start and you're eager to find your first graduate marketing job, get involved. Good luck grads 👊.