In this article, I will attempt to look at some of the stresses and strains for those of you just leaving university and hopefully give you a few mechanisms to cope with them.
I have a million and one things to worry about.
This is a very common problem for a lot of university leavers and can hit you at any time in your life. For those of you that don’t already know what I’m getting at: you know that feeling when you go to bed at night and you have a million and one problems fighting for your attention and consequently, you can’t get a wink of sleep? Imagine that effect during the day! It may seem overwhelming but don’t worry there’s a very easy to initiate and practical way you can help yourself.
What should I do?
Give yourself a little bit of time, sit down and make a good old fashioned chart. It’s more therapeutic than it sounds. Go ahead and put the things you are worried about into the chart. Add a column for potential solutions then add a column where you can say how big an issue it is. Come up with your own scale, perhaps number one is “man I need to cut my toenails” and number ten “Oh crap if I don’t pay that bill I’m going to get thrown in jail.”
For all of the issues that are on your mind write down a potential solution if you can. If you haven’t got one yet that’s okay. Once you have a solution to the problems you can solve, do that thing! Don’t hesitate, get them done. If some of them are time-consuming do them in the order of priority. You will find that once you have gone through this process you may only have a couple of issues and with your mind suitably “decluttered” solutions are far easier to come up with.
So I’ve got this degree thing, what do I do with it?
Okay, you have spent your entire life working towards this qualification. Perhaps there was always a career in mind. If that is the case then perhaps you can skip this section. Anyway, you have this qualification now what are you going to do with it? You don’t know? Fear not there are lots of people to help you. Here are my top three fixes for this issue:
1) Contact your University careers department. Even money says they have one. Go talk to them!
2) Go to your nearest careers advice centre. They do exist! And once again you will be able to give you professional help and advice
3) And this is going to sound like I’m being overly simplistic – google it!
How do I do it?
This question is so broad that it’s impossible to give you a custom answer dependent on your profession. But this really is an issue where common sense should prevail. Talking to somebody who does it already is a good starting point. If you don’t know anybody then sign up for a LinkedIn account. And once again and it seems so obvious, google it!
I need money fast.
This is a bit of a minefield. It’s easy to panic once the student finance dries up and the pressure is on to join the workforce. I cannot make a decision like this for you. However what I will say is this: do you really want to have put all that dedication in just to end up working for a couple of years in retail? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
Jim Carey told this story once about his father’s decision to go into accounting instead of pursuing a career as a comedian because of the “stability factor” he ended up being made redundant and the lesson Mr Carey teaches us is “you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”