As someone who writes a lot and writes often, something people often say to me is ‘write what you know’, so here I am, writing about coming to the end of university and dealing with the sudden (or creeping, in my case) realisation that working in media and communications might not be my cup of tea. Maybe the thought has been lurking in the shadows for the better part of 3 years, or maybe it’s just smacked you in the face when you realised that you actually have to find a job at some point; regardless of which one it is, we’re in the same boat you and I. Worry not pal, because here’s 3 easy tricks doctors don’t want you to know about to cure (or at least temporarily postpone) your upcoming quarter life crisis.
1. Gain some perspective
What are you? Like 19? 21? 25? You’re still very much at the beginning of your life, and rushing into an industry you’re not too crash hot on might not be the best idea. Right now, you are in a period of your life where you actually get to enjoy yourself – before too long you’ll be bogged down with a partner, big house, 2.5 snotty kids and a job you don’t hate but you don’t love either, so you might as well run up the bill now while the going’s good. I mean Oprah didn’t get into TV until 30. Oprah!! I guess what I’m trying to say is our lives don’t end in our early 20’s; you’ve got more time than you think to figure your life out
2. Reflect and Reframe
By reflect I mean actually perform some legitimate introspection, not the nonsense reflection you’ve been writing for 3+ years now about your harrowing group work experiences. Sit down, grab a cup of tea/coffee/wine and have a ‘lil think about what you’ve gained and learned at uni’. For starters – and here’s the real kicker – you have a university degree. Yeah it might not mean much to you, but you’re doing a hell of a lot better than many people. And, as people say about almost literally any achievement, it looks good on a résumé. A finished degree means a couple things. Firstly, it means you’ve got the base knowledge to go into a whole heap of other fields or studies. So, if you found even a minor morsel of the course content interesting now’s the time to smash that QTAC button and find some degrees or courses that actually interest and engage you. Secondly, having a university degree doesn’t hurt when getting a job either, even if it’s not totally related to your field of study. The Australian job market continues to be a raging inferno, so every little helps.
3. Find yourself
Much like the inexplicably wealthy white girls on your Instagram feed, we’re about to talk about ‘finding yourself’ a painful amount, but instead of taking a paternally funded trip to Europe we’re gonna be taking a wee trip down memory lane. Remember when you were a kid? What did you want to be? A firefighter? A pilot? I doubt you wanted to be a digital media strategist at a mid sized agency when you were 5, nor any other job that sounds like it was named with a set of media buzzword sex dice. I’m not saying drop everything and become a firefighter, though now that I mention it that would be dope as hell. Rather, I’m trying to say that you should try and understand what makes you tick on a base level, and then build your field of study and career around that. Love making people happy? Maybe the service industry is for you. Or maybe you love showing people how to do the things you love? Give teaching a crack. Whatever it is, find it and don’t let it go again.
By Tom Yarnold