One of the biggest transitions that you will ever face is the one from education to employment. It can be extremely daunting and challenging trying to find your feet and establish yourself in the “real world” as a graduate fresh out of university, or even as a school or college leaver. Despite millions of young people experiencing this tough transition every year, it’s a topic that remains largely unacknowledged, whilst young people are generally expected to get on with it. In the midst of this whirlwind, it is a time when you start to question the world and even yourself, your goals and ambitions. Having experienced all of the above first hand, here are the lessons I have learned along the way and the useful mantras I live by:

1. If you don’t love yourself, nobody else will

You need to learn to be your own biggest cheerleader. You need to have faith in your abilities and believe that you are the right person for the job (or whatever opportunity you are going for). Realise that there will always be somebody who is more than happy to take your place. Learn to believe in yourself, or at least learn how to give off the impression that you do. Self-confidence goes a long way, so smile and have faith in yourself and your abilities, because this is likely to rub off on your audience!

2. You make your own luck

I don’t believe in luck. When people say things like ‘You’re lucky to be where you are’, ‘You’re lucky to have got that job’ or insert here whatever else you are lucky for, I actually find it quite annoying. I disagree. You didn’t get anything because of luck, unless you win the lottery! But even that has some mad calculation going on behind it. Whatever you have, you earned it, you worked for it, you achieved it and you deserved it. So don’t believe in luck, realise that you make your own. And following on from this, don’t wait around for things to happen, be proactive and go after what you want.

3. Don’t waste your time on things or people that won’t change

You will find in life that some people and some things will never ever change. You will also learn that time is the most precious thing in the world – you can’t buy it, stop it or change it. Rather than dwelling on people or things that you unfortunately don’t have the power to change, make peace with yourself about these situations, move on and channel your energy elsewhere.

4. Know yourself

The most important relationship that you have is the one you have with yourself. You need to learn to be your own best friend and stand on your own two feet. Take the time to get to know yourself; your likes and dislikes, strengths and flaws, hopes and aims. Set aside some you time every week. Whether you use this time to go to a coffee shop, attend a yoga class or be at home, make sure you take some time to enjoy your own company and have a good think. Learn to understand the way your mind and body operates and know your limits. It’s okay to say no, to turn things down and skip socials when you know it won’t positively impact you. Realise that you make the rules for your own life. You don’t need to live up to anyone else’s expectations.

5. Never underestimate your worth

You are invaluable. You are amazing in your own way and you are probably capable of achieving way more than you think. Many people hold themselves back by underestimating themselves, but what you have to remember is that you have to be in it to win it. And that goes for all aspects of life. So instead of questioning your capabilities, considering other people’s opinions and letting external factors influence your decisions, don’t underestimate yourself, put yourself out there and just go for it! Whether that relates to applying for a new job, taking up a hobby or trying something new.

These are just a few of the lessons that I have learned as a millennial graduate. They have helped me to navigate these trying times and my first steps into the world of adulting and employment. I hope that they that serve you well. Now go out there and carve out the life that you deserve!

You might also like Post-graduate Depression: Lessons learned & advice for future graduates or Craving travel & seeing the world: Why I wish I studied abroad or travelled as a student.

A photo from my graduation; my first steps into the world of adulting..

How did you find the transition from education to employment?

Do you have any tips or mantras that you live by?

L.