It might feel like society’s out to get you (“Gen. Y are spoilt, lazy, demanding etc.”) but here are six good reasons not to blame yourself for finding the transition into work tough.
1. There are more smart graduates out there than ever before.
The market’s packed with bright, jobless people and it’s harder to stand out. Which is really pretty annoying – to say the least – when you’ve just slogged your way through the most test-obsessed education system in the industrialised world. You’ve spent years striving for good exam results, and now it turns out that people aren’t that impressed that you got 3 A*s at A level and a 2.1 from Bristol.
2. It’s really hard work.
The competition for jobs is intense, world-wide and exhausting. Employers demand passion and drive but that’s hard to fake if you don’t feel passionate – if you don’t have the energy that comes from knowing that this work truly resonates with who you are and will therefore allow you to fulfil your considerable potential. You feel apathetic, uncommitted and tired, and consequently end up being insincere in interviews.
3. ‘To whomever much is given, of him will much be required.’
There’s a huge weight of expectation on you. You’ve had a good education, plenty of opportunities and you’re lucky to live in one of the most wealthy, liberal and technologically-advanced countries in the world. Parents and tutors have always said you can be anything you want to be if you put your mind to it. No pressure, then…
4. There are an overwhelming number of options.
Grandparents tell you to embrace every opportunity because they never had this many options when they were young. The world is your oyster, but where do you start with so much information at your fingertips? You know it’s ungrateful, but sometimes you secretly wish there were fewer choices, and that the possible alternatives were clearly laid out for you, like a multiple-choice exam.
5. Tick tock – dawdlers miss the boat.
Life is faster than ever. You don’t want a gap in your CV and you need to start earning as soon as possible to pay off debts and/or move out of your parents’ house before you go so cuckoo you won’t be fit for work at all. The name of the game is momentum, and this leads to peer pressure.
6. Money well spent?
Thanks to the economic downturn and now the increased fees, there’s a lot of pressure to get your money’s worth out of university. Whether this comes from your parents, if they paid, or from you, depressed by the looming presence of your student loan, there’s the nagging question of what, if anything, all this education has actually bought you.
So, we’ve established the odds are stacked against you. Want the good news?
All the information you need to find a find a fulfilling career is inside you:
In your experiences, your values, your beliefs, your talents, your passions and your character. All you need to draw out the answers is great, pertinent questions and some time for structured reflection.
If you have more clarity on who you are, what you stand for and where you’re heading in life, it will give you the competitive edge that’ll have employers begging you to join them.
At a crossroads or in a career-hunt crisis?
The October two-day course run by Eyes Wide Opened is tailored specifically for students and graduates.