Career Advice

Transitioning from School to Work: Gearing up for the ‘Adulting’

Madeline LeePosted by Madeline
min read

As I approached the end of my degree last year, the anxiety and nerves of having to find a full-time job hit hard. It was the hot topic amongst my peers as we spent our time on job applications, phone and video interviews and inevitably, dealing with rejection. I had been in the education system for 17 years straight, so my comfortable yet stressful bubble of study and socialising had to be popped by the daunting world of ‘adulting’. It was goodbye to the days of student concessions and discounts and hello to taxes, paying bills and finding a suitable workplace. I had reached the end of the education timeline and had to start a new one as a productive member of the workforce.

Fast-forward to now and I was fortunate enough to find a great workplace that enriches my career. Having gone through the ups and downs of looking for work, here are a couple of tips from a recent graduate.

Start Now! 

Whether you’ve just finished high school or you’re in the middle of tertiary education, it’s never too early to start looking. You’ll need to be proactive in building your resume and finding opportunities. It starts with a simple Google search and you’ll be surprised at what is available. Every job, internship or volunteering opportunity you embrace adds value to your resume, and also, most importantly, to you. As intimidating as it is to start something new and put yourself out there, the benefits will be worthwhile.

Rejection = Experience

No matter what the context is, getting rejected sucks. I’ve had my fair share of crying into a pillow and stuffing my face with chips whenever I received an email that opened with ‘We regret to inform you…’. The frustration from being rejected can really impact your motivation. After a while, I told myself that getting knocked back was an opportunity for me to keep looking for other options or to review my resume and cover letter. Now being a part of the recruitment industry, I know that rejection is normal and it’s not a bad thing. It’s a learning curve that will lead you to something else around the corner. Every no is a step closer to a yes.

Use Your Resources

Whilst I was in university, I utilised all resources available. I attended career fairs to see what kind of jobs were available and made sure to network with people in the industry so I could form relationships that could assist with my future. Other things that helped were consulting sessions with career councillors. They introduced me to niche websites that showed me jobs that were relevant to the industries in which I was interested.  When I spoke to some of my peers, many of them weren’t aware of what resources were available. As mentioned previously, proactively look for these resources is vital, and it can be done through simple Google searches. As much as we wish that everything would be laid out to us on a silver platter, a lot of time and effort is required to find what we want.

To anyone who is currently in the same boat, just know that something will come up and you’re not alone in this adventure. Continue to be resilient and proactive as you never know when an opportunity will pop up. The last year has been a rollercoaster for me, but I’m learning, and I think I’m starting to master the art of ‘adulting’. Maybe next year I’ll submit my tax return on time.