It’s been a little under four years since I graduated from university, and wow, the time has flown! Since graduating it has been challenging, but none of the negatives out weigh the positives – making it totally worth it! I’ve been doing a little self-reflection lately and I just wanted to share a few things I’ve learned since I received that diploma and started my career.
What I’ve Learnt Since Graduating University (So Far!)
University really doesn’t prepare you for the workplace. As much as I would love to sit here and say University did prepare me for the workplace, I cannot. The saying “University really doesn’t prepare you for the workplace” is true! Don’t get me wrong, University was a good educational base to boost me into the career world but everything I have learnt has been developed via the career choices I have made and roles I have taken.
It’s OK to be selective. Over the past few years I have come to realise that you are in control and being selective is not a negative thing. It’s important to know when it’s the right time to say “yes”, whether that may be in your professional or personal life. I’ve learnt that I don’t have to take every opportunity that comes my way and that saying “no” isn’t me being ungrateful – It’s me being responsible for the decisions I make and the affect they may have on my life.
Knowing when to let it go! Looking back to my teenage years I cringe at some of reasons why I held a grudge or a friendship got lost due to something very silly. My first year out of university was a very stressful year for me, and it put so much into perspective. I feel very grateful for the life I lead and the journey I have taken. It makes you realise just how unimportant and frivolous the reasons were/are behind many of the grudges I held and unfortunately still hold. Life is short and I am a real believer of “everything happens for a reason” but holding grudges is exhausting. I cannot change the past I can although let things go and hope that in the future second chances are given.
Valuing your physical and mental health. Its tough when you are young and trying to make a name for yourself in your chosen career path, your focus and priority pivots from your own needs. Remember, your employer would never want to put your own health at risk. It’s OK to ask for help or to take a mental health day. I’m ashamed to admit that at one point I lead myself down this path but my current manager has reminded me of just how important it is to look after yourself and that everyone needs a little TLC.
The importance of family. Its funny how when you are younger you wish to be older but when you are older you wish to be younger. It reminds you that each year you grow older so does your family surrounding you, grandparents, parents – It can be hard to see your family growing older. I’ve thought about the fact they aren’t always going to be around. It’s sad, but its reality. As I continue to grow older as do they, I want to cherish the time I have with my family and appreciate the precious moments I still get to have with them.
Last but not least, don’t forget to have a life! Getting caught up in your day-to-day once you start your career is very easy, you suddenly realise you are so engrossed in your daily routine you forget to have fun! Whether it’s having a girls’ night in, or a few cocktails with some friends or actually using your vacation time to travel – taking time for YOU is important otherwise you will let life pass you by. Make the most of the time you have, experience new things and try and enjoy a good work, life balance.