Part 2 and my third biggest lesson since graduation is here!
My biggest lesson over this last year is don’t be afraid to fail and don’t let anyone discourage you. I am still learning that lesson!
One of my favourite quotes is from Albert Einstein and goes something like this:
“Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking it is stupid.”
Everyone has their own skills and talents and you need to discover yours. Once you find your niche you will thrive but this can take time so in the meantime expect a few hiccups along the way. I thought I wanted to focus on my writing; I studied journalism and thought this was my strength. Over the last 12 months though I have realised my writing skills have a long way to go, and I don’t really enjoy it as much as I thought. Instead, my talent lies in my people skills and this is where I really thrive. I’ve also realised I am more passionate about events than I am about community engagement for construction and roadworks. Ultimately this was another huge factor in my decision to quit my job. I wanted to refocus my career back towards my passion. At first I felt like a bit of a failure, I couldn’t ‘hack it’ in this industry and I didn’t flourish after Uni as anticipated. However on reflection, I know it was the right decision for me. If you are truly unhappy in your job, then it’s ok to change your mind and decide it’s not the right fit for you.
There are so many people out there who are unhappy with their lives, who hate what they are doing and who are too afraid to try something different. Yes it’s a risk and comes with obstacles but is keeping up the façade of security really worth spending years in a job environment you hate? Take control of your life’s direction with confidence. Even if the transition is tough (which at times it has been for me) a new, better choice will eventually lead to a new, better life. I am finally working for the company I have dreamed of working with for years. No, I don’t know what will happen when my contract runs up but right now it is a foot in the door, its exposure to the right people and my team is so fantastic that it makes everything I went through in the last 12months so worth it!
This leads me to my third and final point….
3. Build your network
Have you ever heard the saying “Its not what you know, its who you know”? Well in my experience that is very true. I thought if I worked hard to get the perfect grades at Uni that would be enough but sometimes you need that little bit more. I found nearly everyone I worked with got their job because they knew someone else in the company. That’s not to say they didn’t have the necessary skills but that connection gave them an instant advantage. When you graduate, the more connected you are the better your chances will be of thriving in your chosen field. A friend of mine for example sent a ‘connection’ request on LinkedIn to a bunch of people who worked for a company she was applying for a job with. Several of them accepted her and she got the interview. She later found out the reason she got an interview is because they noticed she had several connections to the company (yes they do really look up your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts so watch what you post or make sure it’s set to super private!) This got her the opening she needed to then sell herself in the interview and ultimately land the job. My advice, start building your networks now. Sign up for a mentor program, do internships or attend events in your field. I wouldn’t have gotten my current job if it wasn’t for someone I knew putting my name forward so trust me, networks are vital!!
12 months out of Uni and to be honest I still don’t know exactly what I want with my career but that’s ok because right now I am learning, I am trying new things and I am finding where my niche is. My experiences, both good and bad over the last year have helped me to grow as a person, to become stronger, more resilient and determined, and to stop letting other people intimidate, discourage and drag me down. The way I see it is, everyone will have that one job they hate in life right? Well I have already gone through that so it can only go up from here.
Until next time