Four reasons not to rush into a job straight after uni
The race starts at the beginning of your final year. Internships, clerkships, volunteer work, CV stacking, interview prep; its all there for the taking. Job seeking is an exciting time for all, and its probably high time you finally got a paycheck and started off on the nine to five journey that will see you off until your mid sixties.
Some people get the jump on their career early to see benefits earlier and to make it easier later down the track (10-20 years time). But here are some reasons to put the brakes on your career and take some time after uni to relax and reflect.
Once you get on the hampster wheel, you can’t get off
Jobs are a self-fulfilling prophecy – once you have one, you’ll always need one. Bear this in mind when you begin, and don’t let the pressure from your peers take a hold of you as decide what you want to do with your future.
If your working life is long, then a small amount of time at the beginning won’t make much of a difference. That time, whether it be spent travelling, starting your own projects, living in a different city, or even taking more classes and courses on things you’ve always dreamt of doing, can reap enormous benefits later on in your working life.
Travel time will become scarcer and scarcer
Travel is expensive and not very cost-effective, but there’s a good argument for working hard as a part-timer during uni and taking six months off after graduation to explore the world. The downtime is comparable to finishing high school, but you’re a little older and little more attuned to what you want to get out of different countries.
I recommend writing a list of places you’ve always wanted to visit and choose one where you know you’d like to spend a few months exploring that couldn’t be done in the short annual leave you have in fulltime work. The ability to take these extended breaks in the future will become more and more difficult as life takes over. Don’t rush to the stable job yet.
It gives you time to think about your direction
Getting on the career train will give you great insight into where you’d like to see yourself spending the majority of your working life and allow you to make goals accordingly. However, it can also be said that committing yourself to a job you have no intention of making your career (or not even knowing where you’d like to be and choosing a job at random) can set you back in a huge way in terms of job satisfaction and motivation.
There’s nothing wrong with taking the time after uni to explore your interests more deeply and have a hard think about the different sorts of careers available to you. This is where short courses and night school can come into play as you can experiment with applying yourself to different skills in order to gain a better understanding of where you’d like to be.
It’s the time to take risks
The older we get, the more responsibilities creep up on us until we reach a stage when we are locked in for life. Not a bad thing by any measure, but as a recent graduate you will most likely have nothing in the way of a serious responsibility like a house, spouse or child.
Taking risks in your working life won’t have far reaching consequences at an earlier age, so this is the time. Want to try running a café with the vision to start your own? Do it now and see what happens. Has aid work always been on your horizon? Apply for a job as a volunteer. Ever wanted to move cities just for the change? This is an opportune time to pack up and leave. Stay young and stay foolish.
Rory is studying a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Notre Dame.