3 things nobody told me about life after graduation

It’s 20th March 2016. My first Monday morning as a newly-graduated Journalist. After 5 years, I had completed my bachelor degree and I was ready to start in the professional world. My resume was up-to-date, I had bought formal attire, and I began the journey to find my first job as a journalist. Looking back, I wish I had known simple but fundamental things about life after graduation.

1. You will need to improve your soft skills

Negotiation, time management and conflict resolution aren’t part of University Programs. At least, though I studied the best Journalism course in Brazil, these lectures never existed in the program. I would have liked to have that during the five years that I spent at University.

The LinkedIn 2018 Workplace Learning Report shows that training for soft skills is the #1 most important thing for graduates. 

graphic art about robots don't have soft skills

In this study, Linkedin interviewed approximately 4,000 professionals globally to know what hiring managers are prioritising and expecting from potential employees.

2. A degree isn't synonymous with a career, and finding the first job isn't an easy task

Seems pretty obvious, but it’s not.  During the first months after graduation, I realised that I had a bachelor degree and it was just the first step in my career. I would need to continue studying and learning more and more if I wanted to achieve what I was aiming for.

In Australia, The Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017 shows that 37% of all employed new graduates had worked in a part-time position after graduation. If you consider that the student spent, on average, four years in the university and still are struggling to find a full-time job, something is missing in undergraduate degrees.

3. The networking that you created during University is gold

Imagine that you were selected for a job interview in a company that you love. You prepare yourself, practise the key answers in the mirror, choose your outfit carefully. When you arrive at the office, you see an ex-uni-colleague that you used to make fun of. Bang!!! Your self-confidence and your chances of getting this position will decrease dramatically.

Another important fact about life after graduation, all my freelance jobs were referrals by university colleagues. I said ALL! My career as a freelancer started when my university mates got jobs that they were not able to do by themselves, and need someone with a different skill set to help them. This way, I worked in video production, social media management and news clipping jobs. During my first three months in Australia, these jobs paid my bills.

How was your life after graduation? If you’re still finishing your degree, what you would like to know about before you graduate?

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