gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

Career advice from Mick Jagger.

Go forth and prosper.
Hello. My name is Pete. I graduated from the University of Leeds with a 1st in Music. Before I had even graduated I had landed myself a Sales job with an IT company. It took a lot of will power to even turn up to the interview, but I certainly don't regret it. I am good at my job, but it’s not the job for me. It certainly isn't a career or that dream job, and it is this that makes me a Gradult.

I am a subscriber to the yes philosophy. My dedication to yes has been questionable at points throughout the past year, but yes is thoroughly ingrained now and will never leave me. Say yes. Say yes and opportunities present themselves and the better you get at reactively saying yes, the more proactive you get at seeking out the opportunities yourself.

Yes has taken me many places. On a bike ride from Leeds to Berlin, up the three highest peaks in the UK, down the side of a tall building in the Midlands and on the worst date of my life that ended after 35 minutes because I had to ‘visit my dad in hospital’. It has also taken me to 4 weeks of Salsa classes. The reason behind this was not just because I felt compelled to say yes, but also because of a certain female colleague that happened to arrange the classes. To cut a long story short, we now live together.

The reason I'm telling you this is that graduates often fail to put the groundwork in. Many people seem to believe that a degree is sufficient groundwork to walk into your dream job and I consider myself guilty of this too. I decided I was guilty of this when I asked myself how many job applications I had completed in the equivalent amount of time it took to complete 4 weeks worth of Salsa classes? Of course, the answer to this is none.

In a previous blog entry, a fellow Gradult lists just a few of the great things that the internet has given us. To sum up his examples, the internet gets you what you want very quickly. Our generation expects instant gratification and although this impatience often achieves results and should be applauded, it doesn't mean that your dream job offer is just one Google search away as if it is the answer to an obscure pub quiz question.

Contrary to popular belief, getting your dream job does not have to be complete chance. Everybody knows someone who is doing what they would love to do for a living. When you ask how they got the job, they were always 'in the right place at the right time' or they 'just fell into it'. There is a reason that people just fall into their dream jobs and that is because they position themselves in the right place at the right time. You make your own luck and if you don't get that dream job right away, then doing the groundwork is essential.

This all comes with one very important warning. Do not lose sight of why you are doing the groundwork. I do not want to be an IT salesman when I'm middle-aged and don't let anyone tell you that you do want to be an IT salesman because I can tell you that there are better jobs out there and why should it not be you who is doing that better job.

When I was offered my current job, a friend sent me a text that simply said 'You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need'. That has always stuck with me and although I reckon he wasn't referring to post-graduation jobs, I don't think Mick Jagger could have put it much better.

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