Taking The Leap: How To Adapt To The Real World After Uni

Bridging the gap between finishing university and stepping into your first job can be a big leap, emotionally and physically. There will be plenty of changes, from working a different timetable to setting that alarm clock for the same time every day.

Recent surveys suggest that it takes roughly six months for a graduate to get a job.  The thought might be daunting; when you’ve been in the university bubble for three years, trying to force your way into the world can seem stressful.

Take the pressure off; check out our advice.

Be realistic

The chances of you waltzing straight into a great job are pretty slim unless you’re super lucky, so practise patience and accept that you may have to wait a while. Not only is the application process sometimes lengthy, but there are interviews (sometimes two) and references to obtain before you get your acceptance offer.   

You may find that you will even have to go through aptitude and psychometric tests as part of your interview process, so be prepared to jump over a few huddles before you reach the finishing line.

Create a budget for yourself

Unless you’ve been working while you’ve been at uni, you may need to think about moving back in with the parents. This may seem like a formidable thought after spending so many years enjoying the freedom of your uni residence. But while it may seem the end of the world to go back to family dinner times, it will also save you a lot of money in the long run.

Whether you move back in with the folks or rent somewhere with friends, you’ll need to budget your outgoings to save yourself from running into a debt while you’re waiting for that job offer to come in. Look at your outgoings and work out which can be reduced. Prioritise essential items, as opposed to nice to have. If you need to, work it all out on a handy spreadsheet or use a budget planner which will break down your finances for you – great if you struggle with numbers!

Work it

Keeping yourself in part-time work will not only give you something to do, as well as bringing in those essential pennies, but it will also enhance the skills you already have.

Employers like skills gained in part time work, such as punctuality, communication skills, accuracy and many others, so keep working it. If you can, choose a part time job in the industry that you want to go into. This way you’re already making contacts and have your face known; you never know where it may lead.

Expand your search

If you’re too exact with your search, you may struggle. Why not expand the search location- and role-wise?  You never know, your perfect job might not even be what you think it is; by widening your search you’re opening yourself up to more opportunities.

Use sites such as LinkedIn to connect to business contacts. Add yourself to as many job alert sites as possible. They do the leg work for you, so you can sit back and watch the job alerts fly in. Try Monster or Total Jobs to start with.

The best advice is to wait until you find the right job. In the meantime, take the advice and relax knowing that if you put in the hard work you’ll get to where you want to be. Set yourself a goal of six months to find yourself a job and take small steps to ensure you get there.


Inspiring Interns is an internship and graduate recruitment agency. To browse graduate jobs, click here. For senior digital and mobile jobs, please see Inspiring Search.