Post written by Aditi, LSE alumna
December = Graduation time at LSE! Congratulations to the class of 2014! You are all about to/have already entered the beautiful wide world outside of the dominant red colours of LSE. Wow! It has already been a year since I graduated. I remember being so excited and feeling like a success kid. Yes! I had survived LSE.
However, after all the felicitations, sharing of addresses, promises to keep in touch, pictures of the graduation etc, reality struck. Job applications were in process, I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do and what were my plans ahead appeared to be the burning question of the day, every single day. It seemed to me that each time I stepped out, all people wanted to know was what I was doing with my life. As for me, all I really wanted to do was crawl under my sheets, stay there and try to make sense of things. Now, in retrospect, I realize that this is normal and everyone goes through this phase.
The time period between graduation and starting work is a very stressful one. Of course everyone wants a job and have their ‘I have arrived’ moment in life. But it is important to realize that not everyone can do so immediately. Things can take time to materialize and it is perfectly fine to have that little break before you start working. I thought of sharing my experience with you simply because having gone through the same, I now know that good things happen. It is just that they take their time!
Receiving advice – Since you appear to be clueless, either because you genuinely are, or because you don’t want to disclose your plans to the world, you will receive tremendous amounts of advice. Some of it is very useful, a lot of it unsolicited. Agreed! But listen, because some of what you hear can end up helping you.
Writing applications – Take your time to write your applications. It is a good idea to have a sample resume and cover letter ready. This is simply to save time. Sometimes, you happen to chance upon a job advertisement while surfing through the net. And more often than not, the deadline is looming around the corner. In such situations, it is of great help to have these documents ready at hand, to modify as per the job requirements and submit them. Keep all your personal information and school, work summaries on a word document as most applications require the same information. And remember to customize your applications. Yes! Recruiters know what they are looking for and can spot a random application from a mile away 🙂
Utilizing the time between applications – Realistically, you do not fill up applications everyday. Some of us do, while some of us do not. Either ways, you will still have a lot of time between writing applications, which can be put to good use. This is time that will not be available as freely in future, and therefore, use it to pursue your interests/hobbies.
Travel – There is nothing like seeing a new place, to take your mind away from the stress of mundane routine life. You have free time right now, go travel and see the world around you and/or away from you. Learn new things, read and build your knowledge center. There’s no better teacher than a journey by yourself. If nothing else, you’ll have a bundle of tales to relate when you return and an experience that is bound to stay with you for life.
Talk to people/rebuild your relationships – I am sure during school everyone is busy with curriculum stress, exams and dissertation. Now is a good time to talk to people, reconnect and rebuild relationships. Go out and meet your friends, write those emails and talk to others in person. We are increasingly moving to a virtual world because of the distances, but if you have time then pick up the phone and make that call. I met and reconnected with so many of my friends, some after 13 years. And that makes me think that it was worth the effort.
Believe in yourself – The most important thing I learnt was to believe in myself. There is a lot of advice, at times a lack of understanding but at the end of the day, you have to believe in yourself. And that is exactly what will give you what you want.
To end, I can only say, enjoy the ride as the destination will be worth it.