The Realities of Work Post-Graduation

By Issy Goode - 21:49

In the last month I've gone from student, to graduate to employed adult in a far quicker time than I initially anticipated. I received a phone call only last week offering me a job, and here I am on my weekend off - tired, overloaded with information and expecting a good nights sleep.

When the offer came along I had no desire to turn it down despite the fact that the start was almost immediately. Because of that immediate start I've already learnt a hell of a lot, none of which I was prepared to learn. 37.5 working hours down the line I'm beginning to understand things about my new job that actually daunted me to the point of getting teary, texting my boyfriend telling him how out of my depth I felt and actually feeling the pull of homesickness and fear concerning the direction life was leading me. That direction is forward, but backwards is the student life that was so blissful and naive, and there'll always be something quite desirable about it, no matter the weekly hangovers, the messy kitchens and the noisy housemates.   

Ignoring all the actual work related things I've had to learn simply in order to be able to do my job, I've made some general observations about working life.

I'm younger than many of my colleagues children...and I look a lot younger than I am
I've always been aware that I don't look my age, but when during my induction another girl who was a new start gasped as I answered the question 'what were you doing before you got this job?' with 'I've just graduated' not because of how young I was but because of how young she thought I was. She had just finished her A Levels and she actually thought I was younger than her. That'd make me 17. I'm 21. One day I'll appreciate this blessing. 

Most of my colleagues are middle aged, they've had families, they've worked many jobs and many of them have children who have already gone through university. I'm now the baby of my department and I didn't expect to dive straight into an office at the age of 21, but that's the direction life has taken me.

I can't make friends with any drunk girls in bathrooms
Apparently that's not a thing at work? I by no means spent my university years frequenting the bathrooms in order to find intoxicated friendships during the day, but on nights out it was extremely common. I don't think there was a night I didn't make a new bathroom best friend in the early hours of the morning - destined never to see her again. I haven't made any friends at work as of yet, let alone bathroom best friends. If I could take this approach without getting fired, I'd probably give it a go.

I probably won't see some people again
Keele is a big place but the campus is known as the 'bubble' and if you met someone on a night out, you were extremely likely to bump into them again during your time at uni, whether you wanted to or not. In a massive company where thousands of people work across a site the size of Monaco, it's apparently not likely. Though, Keele is the largest main campus uni in the UK and I always managed to bumped into people I didn't have any desire to, so why can't I find a friend at work? I clicked with a girl during my induction day but we worked in different departments and therefore different buildings, and I've yet to see her again despite visiting her building often to get lunch. If this was Keele we'd probably be best pals by now, but alas I never even got her full name...and I'm not quite desperate enough for friends yet to go on a rampant Facebook stalk. But Pooja, if you're reading this, I hope your first week went well. 

I'm not tough enough for high heels
When I was at uni I wore heels for most nights out during my second and third year, but only now do I realise how truly uncomfortable they can be. There were only two reasons I managed to survive in heels all night whilst at university:
1. I was too drunk to remember the pain 
2. I was too drunk to care
On my more sober nights I often ended up changing into the little fold up pumps I carried in my bag, and my boyfriend did suggest I take these to work too. However, the shame of the SU floor still clings tightly to them, and there's something about taking off my heels in the middle of the day to put on flat shoes that dints my pride. Instead of soldiering on I've opted to opt out of high heels.

Have any of you other lovely graduates been lucky enough to find a job? If so, congratulations! If not, keep looking! You'll certain to find something soon that you'll enjoy and good luck doing so!

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  1. Can you wear a smaller heel and get some gel pads for comfort? There's something about heels and office work seems a done thing! I know I'm older than you but I'm always the bloody youngest everywhere it half annoys me half doesn't because I don't tend to Idendify with these my age I swear I should be 40 ha ha xx

    1. I only wore 2 inch ones and it was the fact they were cheap heels that caused me so much pain haha! I'm sat on my arse for most of the day but one pair really killed. I wore boot heels for the rest of the week and they were comfy so sticking to those! Haha yeah you probably should be ;) xx

  2. If I can give any one a small touch of advice; make friends with IT and Accounts, be nice to everyone (especially those with 'lower' jobs), always offer to make your round of Tea and it will get better. It will.

    1. Haha I've begun building friendships within the IT dept mainly because my computer always has issues! Everyone's pretty on equal in the part of the company I'm within so it's quite a pleasant atmosphere :) thank you for the advice!

  3. I haven't got a 'real' job yet and Im really not looking forward to it to be honest. I'm not ready to not be a student, can i just do a masters instead?!

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

    1. I wasn't planning on getting what's consider a 'real' job - not really sure what comes under that anyway haha! I just wanted something that would bring in the money. Personally I've been enjoying it quite a lot and actually find it has it's pros - I like to know I'm earning a decent wage and actually actively doing something rather than watching too much Netflix and parring off work until the last minute haha!

      I'd say, do a masters if it'll lead you to the place you want to be, not just to stay in student life haha! Though I'm sure that's not the reason for you but I know so many people who do it for that reason! x


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