Whatever course you are on, the goal after university is to get a job. With the university currently on the drive for careers networking and job opportunities, its time to address how you could improve your mindset, to help you succeed in life.
Now I may only be young, but with my psychological knowledge and personal experience, there are quite a few bits of advice I can share. With some added pointers from mother dearest (HI MUM!), I have compiled a list of 5 things you can do/think about that can help you achieve whatever goals you set out, and accomplish what you deem to be ‘success’.
Be Determined and Persevere
Despite what some older people think of us, a lot of young people work extremely hard to be where they are today; well done us! With anything, but especially in employment and future career prospects, it’s all about having the determination to get what you want, and the perseverance when things don’t necessarily go to plan. Take this very blog and me for example who, when applying to be part of the student blogger team, was originally turned down a paid position. While I wasn’t officially employed, I was offered a voluntary role that I accepted, and after making a post or two, and showing my worth, a couple more positions opened up and I was one of the first chosen. Take what you’re given, and roll with it!
Prepare for Rejection, Anticipate Success
This ideology has stuck with me for a while now, ever since I started being exposed to the ‘real world’ of money, jobs, and a sense of independency from the age of 16. I’ll admit I have been very lucky in the opportunities that have been presented to me, but I have also had my fair share of rejections. Whether it is a job interview, or asking your crush out on a date, go into it with a positive outlook, but be prepared to be turned-down. There is no good convincing yourself you are 100% definitely going to get what you want, to only be crushed when that doesn’t happen. Try your best, but if it doesn’t work out, there is always something else around the corner.
The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Similar to the previous point, but with some psychological theory, the idea of self-fulfilling prophecies is that things we believe about our self have a massive impact on our future achievements. If you go around believing that you are going to fail getting into an academic programme or job, you are less likely to put a good amount of work into your application, which means you’ll be less prepared for whatever interview that may arise, if you get an interview, which will ultimately mean a slim chance to get the position. So have confidence in yourself!
Go with the Flow (i.e. don’t be fixated on one path)
Things change over time; such is the nature of life. While I’ve never been one of those people who have a strictly thought-out 5-year plan, I do like to think a couple years ahead to where I would like to be, and what I can do to achieve that. But I would be lying if I said that my goal has always been the same. As my mum pointed out to me, my plans for the future have gone from being a master chef owning my own bakery, to be an actor on the stage, to now being a psychologist. Even now, heading into university I originally wanted to do a diploma in counselling after my BSc, and then practise therapy not too long after. Now that I am on my 3rd year, I’m leaning more towards doing the MSc Health Psychology, and then the professional doctorate. It’s ok if you find yourself on a different path from what you originally expected.
Listen and Learn from Others
While I am all about the philosophy of learning from your own mistakes, there is a reason why so much value is put on experience. Listen to people who have done the process before, and then take their accomplishments and mistakes and apply it to your own situation. I mean, I just listened to my mum give me that piece of advice, and you’re reading this advice post now. It’s some good stuff this multi-layered advice giving!
As with most things in life, it is about finding the balance between confidence, humility, authenticity, and self-esteem. Believe in yourself, and your abilities…
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