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LIFE AFTER GRADUATION

Congratulations, you have graduated!!! No more sleepless nights, dodgy diets, mini breakdowns and last minute deadline rushes. You’re free! You can finally relax and de-stress.
But now you out are out of that uni “safety bubble” and entering the real world, are your prepared for life after the university experience? Some of you may already have a plan for what you are going to do after university, and some of you will not. So we’ve compiled a list of advice that we would give ourselves about life after university and what we should have done. We hope that this list will prove helpful to you as well.

1.    Don’t compare yourself to your peers
Don’t compare your fellow classmates success to your own it will just dishearten you. Just because you haven’t got that dream job straight out of university doesn’t mean you never will. Use their success to motivate you and you could even use them to gain contacts within your industry or recommend you to new job opportunities within their workplace.

2.    Find yourself (Self actualization)
Not to sound hippy-ish but this is the time to truly discover who you are as a person and decide what path you are going to go down in life. Especially since you have more free time and no university deadlines clogging up your mind. Use this time to become one with yourself and truly figure out what’s the best path for you. Even if that means taking a mini break from your current surroundings or just shutting yourself out from the world and turning off your phone for a couple of days.

3.    Keep the momentum going
Don’t lose the momentum that you had at university. We know after university that you just want to rest and not think about producing any work for a while. But still keep on working and pushing, you don’t want to lose all that energy and spirit.

4.    Enjoy the freedom
As much as we said keep on working and don’t lose the momentum. DO enjoy your freedom, this is probably the last long summer holiday you are going to have. ENJOY IT!! Travel, sleep, hang out with friends and chill at home. However you like spending your free time do it as much as you can, because this is the time to do it.

5.    Make looking for a job your full time job
Don’t do halfhearted applications or keep sending the same cover letter with just the company name changed to employers, they CAN tell. Put as much time and effort in getting a job as you would when you finally do get the job. Set yourself times during the day when you’re going to dedicate your day to applying for jobs. Make sure you find out as much information as you can on the company and job you are applying for so you can personalize your CV, cover letter and portfolio towards that specific job.
Here are a few sites that may help you during your job search:

6.    Improve your portfolio
Your portfolio is your most important asset and investment especially when it comes to getting a job or even just securing that interview. So look back through your portfolio and see where you can make improvements or add in new pages.
If you think you need an outsider’s opinion, ask your tutor to look through it with you again and ask them where they think you could have improved? Also if you attended an interview and didn’t get the job, email back the interviewer and ask them what aspects you could have improved in your portfolio, or why you didn’t get the job. This way you’re better prepared and ready for the next one.

7.    Learn new skills:
Don’t be a one trick pony; take this time to expand your skill base. It will make you more attractive to employers, as well as you gaining a new skill that could benefit you in the future.
There are loads of places that offer short courses or one-day workshops at an affordable rate. Here is a list of our favorites places to go learn some new skills

 
  • Design ME Textiles (of course)!!- http://designmetextiles.co.uk/workshops/ Every month we offer different textiles workshops
  • Hotcourses: http://www.hotcourses.com/courses/
    Hotcourses is a good website to find a wide range of course throughout the UK
  • Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/ 
    With new vloggers and tutorials being posted every day youtube is a good place to learn new skills and techniques. Plus its FREE!!

8.    Look for jobs that relate to what you want to do in the future
It’s common for creative graduates to go into retail/customer service job once they’ve come out university, so that they can financially support themselves. That’s totally fine and we are not discouraging you from doing that, but just look at these jobs as a short-term situation and don’t settle into them for the long term. Yes they may pay the bills but are you happy? Is this the career path you saw yourself going down?
Get a job that will help you reach your end career goal.  You may even have to start off at the shop floor and work your way up, we’ve seen/heard hundreds of stories of people starting from the shop floor and eventually getting their dream role at that company. Just make sure you are progressing and you’re not stuck in that same position you started off in.
Internships are a good way to get into your final career and you may have to intern for a while, which isn’t ideal for everybody as most internships are not paid. BUT you don’t have to work there full time, most internships are very flexible and you can still have other work alongside them. Also, you gain great connections, experience and knowledge and if you stay there long enough or a make a good impression - it could turn into a paid job!!

9.    Do something with your final collection
You did not spend all that money, time and endless sleepless nights to have your final collection collect dust in your attic or storage unit, it deserves better. Make the best use out of it after university. Try and sell it, sites like Depop and Etsy have made it possible for you to create your own shop with no cost and sell your own products. Find a way to re produce those garments or final fabric samples if you don’t want to get rid of the originals and sell them. Turn those fabric samples into a bag, cushion, chair or even just frame it! Get a return from your investment! For fashion design graduates you should collaborate with as many fashion stylists and photographers you can to get your collection in magazines, music videos and seen more by the world. A good Facebook group to gain new collaborations is:
London Fashion Creatives Facebook Group

10. Build your network
Your network is your net worth. In any industry these days it’s not about what you know it’s about who you know. Having good networks and connections can help you gain new opportunities, jobs and experiences. It’s very important to network and MAINTAIN those connections because you never know how that person could help you in the future.

We hope this blogpost have been useful, write in the comments below if you would like to add anymore points. 

From Design ME x