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Graduate Advice
5 min read

Expectations Vs Reality - The Post Graduate Job Search

After several years of sheer hard work and studying to get your degree, now that you finally have it, it may seem as though you have hardly had time to process the time that is now behind you, and here you are - about to embark on getting your first job.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
August 26, 2023

After several years of sheer hard work and studying to get your degree, now that you finally have it, it may seem as though you have hardly had time to process the time that is now behind you, and here you are - about to embark on getting your first job. Perhaps you applied prior to obtaining your degree, safe in the knowledge that you knew your dedication would have paid off or perhaps you are in the process of applying now. You may have even had some time off to do some much anticipated travelling and to  see different parts of  the world. Whatever your personal circumstances, the reality of obtaining employment may be at variance with your own personal expectations, or from those close to you and there are several factors that need to be carefully taken into consideration.

The job market does tend to fluctuate and so the current jobs market environment that you find yourself in may be more competitive than you previously anticipated. Be aware of potential challenges, keep your focus realistic and therefore be prepared to put more time and effort into securing employment. Industries can evolve rapidly, so stay flexible and resilient which will go a long way in helping you navigate through unexpected events in the changeable jobs market.

Many post graduates have very high expectations of themselves and of their career prospects - and rightly so. However, realistically, you may have to start in an entry level role and after gaining experience and building up relevant skill sets, you will be able to aim for higher level positions. Of course, this is no reflection upon your abilities and you should not let this deter your focus - this is a common starting point for most career paths.

Career growth takes time and is often gradual. Most companies and organisations will look for aptitude, ability, patience, loyalty and dedication before progressing you on to higher positions with more responsibility. You should not view this time as limiting your capabilities, on the contrary, it is preparing you for being at the top of your game.

Despite what intensive learning you have been able to take advantage of at university, the transition of that, even if you have been able to combine it with lengthy work experiences, reintegrating into the real world of employment can be a learning curve in itself. You will need time to adapt and to acquire new skills and ways of doing things, so remain open minded and accepting of current opportunities.

While everyone dreams of a large salary, entry level salaries may not be what you anticipated for yourself. However, you know that it would be highly unlikely to be paid a top salary upon starting a job but you are also aware that that top salary is within your reach. Stay focused and trust that you will reach your goal by working to continually improve skills, networking and gaining as much experience as you possibly can. The only way is up!

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