I graduated from the University of Sunderland in June 2016 with a BA Hons Public Relations. I was excited to get out into the world of work and put my theory and knowledge to use and get practicing public relations. So that’s what I did. I freelanced in a PR capacity, got a job and also managed to fit in some ‘me’ time.
Something still didn’t feel right. I felt like I’d left university without truly knowing what I was getting myself in for. I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but in the 5 months since graduating, I’ve figured out what that ‘something’ was.
Nothing can truly prepare you for the world of work when you are fresh out of university, but here is a list of 5 things I wish I’d been told by someone:
- Pursue a career that you love. Since leaving university, I’ve had a variety of roles, from social media management, press relations and marketing. It was up to me to find out that maybe just PR wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but since having experience in marketing (with a lot of PR thrown in too) I think I’m destined for a role in the two practices, rather than just one or the other. So remember, if you feel like the job isn’t right for you, get out when you can.
- You don’t have to know what you want. I remember that uncomfortable feeling when people would say “what are you going to do with your degree?” and I didn’t know how to reply as I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but what I did know is that I was going to work in the industry that my degree was relevant in. So remember, it is okay not to know, because you will get there in the end.
- Bold moves + team support = big dreams. It is important to have a good team of people to support you, whether that team is family, friends or work colleagues. In my current situation I find some things extremely challenging, but my team helped me to:
- Be accountable to my commitment especially in my lowest moments.
- Encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and supported me when I did so.
- Acted as non-judgemental sanctuary for my ups and downs.
- Inspired me with their stories of personal growth and ideas.
So remember, create your own personal supportive network & use them!
- Relationships are the foundation to success. I sometimes encounter a block where I think I’m not good enough and I frequently strive for my own version of perfection. My sensible brain knows that neither is possible and empowering. Thinking this has a direct affect on my support team, so I’m constantly trying to shift my mind set to one where it was more possible for me to step up and be a team player, or even a leader. My confidence has been growing! So remember, “connection is why we are here. It is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”
- Perfection is a myth. Throughout your life and career, I believe that it is important to continue to learn, while remembering that no matter how much you grow, you will never be perfect. It’s important to accept that. We’re our own hardest critics and we often have high standards that are impossible to live up to, but thats okay! So remember, as we change, our dreams change.
Enjoy the ride, enjoy the journey and learn from the experience. The best years of your life are not behind you.