BLOGGER: RACHEL BROADBENT
— Rachel Broadbent is a Graphic Designer, who studied at Canadore College in North Bay, focusing on print design and branding. She is a Huntsville Native, surrounded by Mother Nature’s simplistic designs that inspire her creations. She enjoys long walks on the beach and sharing her journeys and discoveries along the way. For Rachel, design is her passion and wishes to share it with the world, one client at a time.
I have been home for a little over a month now and reality has set in. It’s back to school season and I have accepted I am now an adult, a graduate, unemployed, and in debt, like most recent graduates. I am sure you have felt this way at least once in your life and can relate. During these past few months I have discovered and gone through the five stages of realizing you are a graduate.
Stage One: The world is my playground.
Days, maybe even months, after graduation you have thoughts, aspirations and goals. You believe everything will workout wonderfully. All fine and dandy. You can celebrate now! You have suffered through school for close to two decades and you are finally FREE. The world is your playground and you can do anything your little heart desires.
Stage Two: Oh.. Sand castles!
This is when you feel that maybe you want to avoid growing up and responsibilities for a while longer. The late bar nights and sandbox castles are still intriguing to you. So maybe you decide to run away on a trip for a bit to avoid the bills of life a little while longer.
“You journey has moulded you for the greater good. It was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” – Asha Tyson
Stage Three: Realization
This is where the OMG! moment happens. It’s when your biological clock and wallet alarms go off. Making you think, “Dammit, I need to get my act together. I’m almost broke and I’m not getting any younger.” You see more of your friends getting engaged, married, or pregnant on Facebook. Or if you’re not worried about that yet, you start noticing they are posting about interviews, and new jobs while you are sitting over here thinking many swear words and profound language feeling like the pressure is on to start establishing life before it feels to late.
“When you grow you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life and try not to bash into the walls too much… That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people who were no smarter than you. Shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live in it versus make your mark upon it…Once you learn that, you will never be the same again.” – Steve Jobs
If you are interesting this is a great infographic about when many famous entrepreneurs got their starts. You may be surprised by their ages.
Stage Four: Now What?
That is the question running through your mind day after day. You have put your heart and soul into your studies for the past three to four years and felt ready a few months ago. But now you are doubting your skills and feel unprepared for the road ahead. There are so many different paths to take in your field and you can’t choose what is right for you. You are at a fork in the road and you’re not sure what way to go to make the “right” decision for your future.
“For what it’s worth…it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you have to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Stage Five: I Can’t Do This…
You have pulled up your bootstraps enough to start pursuing the job market. Job positions list all these skill requirements you’re not sure you have or know you absolutely don’t have. There is no way you have five years experience when you graduated less than a year ago. There are many naysayers around telling you that, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, “ or “Oh, you can’t do that.” It almost seems easier to get your deep-sea diving certification than an entry-level position now a days. Which can feel very discouraging.
“Attitude if the different between and ordeal and an adventure.” – Bob Bitchin
But, if you have felt or are feeling this way. It’s perfectly normal! That’s why I’m writing this to say even though it may feel hopeless at the moment. This is just a transition period. You will one day be one of your friends sharing those exciting Facebook posts. One day you will achieve your dreams you had after graduation day. It just may take sometime and may not be on the path you envisioned to get there. All you can do is try your best. Everyone has to start somewhere.
These are some tips that I have found very useful along the way this far for myself. Ask for help along the way. It’s okay to ask for help sometimes to get pushed in the right direction. I went to the local employment service centre for some coaching to help me on my job search and to update my resume format. They were very helpful!
Network. You never know who knows each other. By talking to one person about your career goals, it might lead to some business connections.
Keep your eyes open and seek opportunities. They might come at you from unexpected places.
Keep it positive. Even though life might suck right now, it won’t be like this forever.
Do what makes you happy. Bottom Line.
Continue Learning. You may be out of school now but that doesn’t mean you are done learning. If you don’t have the skill requirements for a position. Learn them! We live in a beautiful time where so much information is at our fingertips. You just have to harness it.
So keep your chin up and keep trucking.
Dream. Believe. Achieve.