Are you facing that challenging post-graduation period when the summer partying is over, your university friends are scattered all over the place and the cold reality of ‘what now?’ slaps you in the face?
You might also be living at home with your parents after gaining your degree. And I know that being in limbo feels unsettling because I’ve seen it with my own daughters after their graduation. What helps to manage your wellbeing after graduation?
Transition is about change
What served you before in university may not serve you in your new situation and environment. For example, you may cling to existing habits and the familiar, and dislike taking risks. Or you might embrace the change as an exciting adventure into the unknown as you look forward to asserting your independence further. Yet, whatever your circumstances, it taxes your emotions, your mind, and your pocket. Often, graduates say it feels like a conflicting mix of liberation and anxiety.
Job hunting can be really, really hard and demoralising, but struggle and rejection are part of working life, it’s all good training – Graduate
5 ideas to self-manage
Here are 5 approaches to managing your wellbeing for a healthy transition after graduation:
- Recognize your emotions. Don’t hold on to being in denial about your situation (“I’ll do it tomorrow”), anger (“It’s not my fault”), or frustration (“I don’t know what to do”). If you hold on too long, nothing changes other than feeling even more stuck. Self-doubt is understandable, especially if your friends are making more progress than you. Or if you’re questioning the value of your degree. So, accept your emotions and let them go without resentment. Research shows that accepting negative emotions is beneficial to mental health. Also, a little soul searching helps a better understanding of the people around you.
Be self-aware and self-compassionate.
- Embrace the change. Understand what it looks and feels like. Manage the endings and beginnings well. Let go of behaving like a student and take up learning to be professional at work. Employers want professionalism at every stage of their relationship with you. How will you show that you are an aspiring young professional of substance during your job search? Look inwardly, reset your mindset and behaviours, and show the difference to others.
Review and reframe.
- Get support. Know who to go to for specific issues so you make the transition quicker and more healthily. Spend time with the people who are your raving fans and who would give unconditional help. Find an outlet for your positive and negative feelings. The support of friends going through a similar experience will help you get a sense of perspective, provide empathy and compassion, and give your confidence a boost. Many heads are better than one for practical and realistic steps to move forward.
Be open and courageous.
- Explore. The blank canvas of your future is an invitation to paint any picture in your true colours. Your picture might be work, travel or something else. What can you visualize? What do you lean towards? How clear is the detail? Also, how you paint is unique to you. What are your favourite colours? What combination works best for you? Look outwardly. Get a mentor from the Alumni of your university in an area of work that interests you. Get a coach to help you become clearer on your direction and navigate the job search. Learn a new skill. Do something for somebody else because it helps them and makes you feel good. Go travelling to get a different perspective, new ideas, and a sense of purpose.
Stimulate and re-energize.
- Commit. Show you are signed up to moving on. Get stuck into something, add value and make a difference. Be alert to the opportunities along the way and don’t settle for less. Use your humanity, intelligence, and wisdom.
Be persistent and adaptable.
It takes a great deal of resilience to make your way in the job-hunt. You need to work on strategies to look after yourself mentally as much as the practical, systematic work of finding job opportunities – Graduate
Prioritize your wellbeing
Yes, the present may feel uncomfortable. However, a transition is part of the natural process of renewal that brings its own rewards.
Where are you emotionally post-graduation? Which of these 5 approaches is your number one priority?
Please do get in touch if you want my coaching support to help you make the next leap.