Five reasons your real education doesn’t start until after uni

February 15, 2017
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Uni is a hard slog, particularly towards the end you finally realise you’ve got precious little time to kick into gear and get results that people will actually care about. But guess what? Graduation isn’t the end of the road – you’re really only just getting started. There’s so many things you won’t know until you get out uni and try a few things for yourself. Here’s a few to give you the heads up.

Are you really a team player?

Guaranteed – most people would say they’re a “team player” just because it sounds good. It sounds like something people want to hear (especially when you’re looking for a job). But do you know if this is really you? Are you good at compromising with people when you’re convinced their ideas are insane? Are you prepared to deal with a lazy colleague in a professional and diplomatic way? Tongue biting isn’t everyone’s thing. The thing is, even though it sounds like the right thing to say; it’s actually OK if you’re not said “team player”. There are plenty of job opportunities out there for those who prefer to operate alone. 

Do you really like working for someone else?

So we go to uni, we intern, we graduate and we look for the dream job, right? But does it have to be that way? Fair enough, looking for employment straight out of uni is definitely the best way to get the money rolling in and some experience under your belt, but don’t be surprised if a few years down the track you get sick of your employer’s decision-making and working under someone else’s terms. You might find your solution in entrepreneurialism.

How to take care of yourself

Don’t get me wrong, uni is a lot of hard work but the work/life balance is still pretty sweet. The workload is set, holidays are scheduled and even the biggest recluse can’t escape the social side of uni life. But when you’re out in the working world, no one else is going to take care of you. Truth is, your workload will never be complete and no-one will force you to leave at 5pm or take your four-week annual holiday entitlement. The onus is on you to push back the work and get out of the office before you become a mental and physical mess.

Can you go with the flow?

So you’ve chosen you’re degree and you perhaps you feel as though you know exactly what you want to do in life. This is great, but you should probably be thinking about this as more of a starting point on a much longer journey – a journey where you can’t possibly know the destination. Put simply, different jobs and opportunities will come and go with times – the last thing any employer needs is someone who gets stuck in their ways and won’t move on.      

Are you an expert or a born leader?

After a few years working you’ll probably end up at a crossroad. Should you climb the corporate ladder, through management, senior leadership with your final resting place on the executive team? Or, you might love your craft so much, you’ll want to stick with it. But that won’t hold you back, not if you start your own venture or someone worth consulting. Either way, it’ll take you a few years to work out which way you’re going to climb.

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