Spread Your Wings

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speread your wings

Roughly this time last year I wrote a post on my old blog about both the uncertainty and excitement associated with finishing university. I didn’t know what to expect but I was looking forward to ‘spreading my wings’ and finally being able to break out of the safe, structured lull of education to pursue my interests. 

Unfortunately, as many in my position will be well aware, the transition to the working world is not a seamless and simple process. Nowadays, a degree is sadly not enough to capture the interest of many employers. Once you leave university you join thousands of graduates waving their 2:1 in the air and it becomes a free-for-all for highly competitive positions. 
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At first I was disheartened by sending off so many carefully constructed applications into the ether and hearing nothing back. But now I realise that the limbo period between finishing university and starting your first job is valuable time. 
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‘Spreading your wings’ doesn’t have to mean back-packing around Thailand or moving to a new city to start an exciting job. It can be as simple as pursuing your interests in other ways, gaining new skills and having the freedom to enjoy your free time without looming deadlines.
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Since leaving university, I have…
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Learnt that all experience is good experience

There are many internships on offer for anyone wanting to pursue a career in the creative industries. Unfortunately, most of them are London based which isn’t really a viable option for those of us out of commuting distance. However, you can gain valuable experience from any kind of part-time work. Most jobs require teamwork, interpersonal skills, problem solving and prioritizing tasks which are all important transferable skills that can be added to the CV.
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Gained interview experience 

Sometimes you will fire off a resume and get a bite back! Even if you’re not 100% enthused by the job, attending an interview is an opportunity to practice your technique and think on your feet. I had an interview a view months back and, even though I knew I wasn’t suited to the role, it showed me what to expect from future interviews and made me less wary about them.
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Had more time to be creative 

Although I loved university, I rarely had time to indulge in my creative interests. Now I can write and blog to my heart’s content which conveniently gives me a portfolio of work to link to potential employers. Result! 
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Become more savvy with my money

During my student days, I don’t think I budgeted effectively. I didn’t check my bank statement regularly enough and just assumed it would always magically replenish thanks to student loans and the Erasmus grant. Naturally, this is not an attitude you can take forward into your twenties. Since working part-time, I have definitely learnt the value of money, as generic as that sounds. I am far more selective about what I spend my cash on and try not to let my bank balance drop below a certain figure.
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Had fun!

I’ve spent more time with friends from home, visited more places and enjoyed the freedom of not having a full-time job for the time being. Walking around an art gallery or browsing the shops on Oxford Street on a Wednesday afternoon whilst most people are working is a little novelty I’ll miss when I get a 9-5 job.
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Although job hunting can be a tiresome, frustrating process, don’t discount everything you’re doing in the time-being. The chances are, you’re doing more than you think. Baby steps are still steps in the right direction, so enjoy the process and make the most of this time. 
Josephine x
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