Graduate fears

Graduation ceremony

A graduation ceremony

People seem to be graduating left, right and centre.

One of these people is a close friend of mine who has just finished their degree. It is something they have been working towards for over five years and I know they had a huge wave of relief when they finished their last exam. Of course, I piled on the questions;

  • What are you going to do now?
  • Have you applied for any jobs?
  • What’s your dream job?

I didn’t expect the response they gave me which was,

"I think I’ll just keep up with the casual cleaning work I’m doing at the moment and have a rest".

Over a month after their final exam, they’re still doing this. They say they’re enjoying the cleaning work and the consistent money but I am wondering if there is more to it. A few weeks after first asking, I asked again if they had any plans for next year. Their response was still very much the same but with another key piece of information added,

"I don’t think I’m ready to do some of the jobs I have looked at".

In the meantime they have taken up more cleaning work and are now working everyday. There’s nothing wrong with the cleaning work. Their employer is respectful, the work is consistent and pays above the award rate. Considering they have been working in this job for over a year, I know it is a task and skill that they are comfortable with. However, it has got me thinking. What if they aren’t having a break or thinking about their options but rather putting off applying for jobs due to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt?

These are feelings I have struggled with myself. After all the hard work that goes into a degree. The question often remains when you finish, what now? It can be really daunting to know that you have to apply for hundreds of jobs and hopefully get one and then hope that you fit in and can do it well and most of all enjoy it.

I know that if you aren’t working in a degree related field then you have to stay on top of setting yourself up for the work and industry you want to be in. This means continuing to apply for related jobs, doing volunteering and networking. For my friend, I’m confident that they will overcome their fears about working. But they might need a bit of encouragement and support to give them the push to try.

Tagged in what messes with your head, employment, graduation