Wow. I can’t believe it’s been two whole years since I graduated. Remember when you were younger and your parents would always say how time goes so much quicker when you’re older? Well, it’s definitely true…
It’s been so long since I’ve written an actual personal post on my blog that I don’t even really know where to start. Flashback to graduation and I had no idea I would end up where I am now. I realise that makes it sound like I’ve done super exciting and wonderful things, which I kind of have, but more than anything I feel like I’ve really grown into myself in some ways.
The Limbo Phase
As someone who loves to have a plan, I found the post-university limbo phase a real struggle. I hated not knowing where I was going and what I would be doing, or even where I would be living. I hated everything about the uncertainty of my future and equally I didn’t really know what I wanted to do career-wise.
What I did find helpful was just browsing job adverts. It really helped me to narrow down what sort of job I might like to do as I read things that sounded interesting – whereas some jobs you read the description and just know straight away that it’s not for you!
The limbo phase is tough on everyone and I think there is an increasing pressure to graduate and know what you want to do and walk straight into a great job, but try to ignore the outside world and focus on you and what you want to do. Sometimes, you just need a bit of a breather to figure it all out.
My First Job Post Graduation
About eight weeks after my graduation, I secured my first job as an Account Executive at a web design and digital marketing agency. I’m aware I was really lucky to find a job so quickly, and it really was a case of being in the right place at the right time. It was really close to my hometown and I actually found the role on LinkedIn, which I also didn’t expect to actually get me a job.
My role was mainly dealing with clients, getting briefs on design changes from them and passing these on to the developers. As I progressed in the role, I began going out to client meetings, pitching ideas to them, training new starters and qualified in the Google Ads and Analytics platforms. I slowly built my knowledge and responsibility in the 18 months I was in the role and I honestly did really enjoy it.
Personally, I would never have considered myself an ambitious person until I began working full-time. I find now that I genuinely am interested in learning as much as possible, about as much as possible! I like to know the ins and out of all areas of the business and I really do want to push myself and excel – something I’ve never felt in a job before. Obviously, at university, I pushed myself and wanted to succeed but it somehow feels different in a professional environment. Whether I have this ambition to succeed because I’ve found the right sector and style of job for me, I don’t know, but I do enjoy pushing myself and aiming for the top.
Moving On To A Second Job
After about 18 months at my previous role, in February this year, I moved to a new job at a marketing agency. I felt like I had learnt everything I wanted to learn in my previous role and felt it was time for a new adventure.
The reality of switching jobs was actually quite scary. I’m an anxious person at the best of times but I found handing in my notice possibly one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I didn’t want to feel like I was letting anyone down and I didn’t want anyone in my previous company to be angry or anything. It was a time in my life where I felt incredibly selfish because I was actually making this decision purely for me and my career and my future – and that was quite a scary thought for me.
My role now consists of a lot more “hands-on” marketing – I’ve worked in PPC dealing day to day with optimising campaigns and writing ads and am now working within SEO. I also dabble in a bit of influencer marketing and PR which I’m really enjoying.
Making the switch from a more client services role to a marketing role was challenging (and still is!). Every day I’m learning something new, I frequently have to ask for help or have things explained to me and sometimes I do feel like I’ve taken a step backwards as I have far less responsibility in my new job. But you know what, it’s not backwards at all. I’m choosing to redefine my career, to specialise in skills that will help me in my future career – whether that’s in account management or “hands-on” marketing.
So, how is life two years after graduation?
You know what, it’s pretty good. I’m learning so much about myself and where I want my career to go. I might not be a high-flyer in London meeting all the celebs, but I’m happy focusing on my personal development right now.
Outside of work, I’m still living with my parents and saving as much money as possible for a house deposit. I am however considering looking for some kind of houseshare in my local area as I do feel I want a bit of my independence back, and two years at home is quite a lot! My boyfriend is also living back with his parents, which is around 3 hours from me, but we’re happy and making it work!
What have you been up to after graduation? Or have you graduated this year and are looking forward to the future?