As the Creative Lead for Mindless Mag, I enjoy overseeing the curation and implementation of our monthly Fashion + Stuff That Matters campaigns. Since completing my Master's last year, I have gone from an intern, to Programme Coordinator at Mindless Academy, to Creative Lead at Mindless Mag. It's been an exciting journey so far which I struggled to embrace at first. I struggled after finishing my Masters with loads of 'what if's?'. What if I don't have a clear plan of my next steps? What if I'm no good at the job I get? What if things don't work out for me?
I think many of us spend our lives working towards the goal of uni and when that finishes, it can feel a bit like a shock that suddenly, you're in the big wide world and perhaps not 100% sure what the next move looks like. I want to reassure you, that’s okay. In fact, it's only in hindsight that I find myself able to reflect in confidence that you can navigate the world of work even if you are not certain of the future. Because in fact, nothing is ever certain or guaranteed.
So, here's 5 things I wish I knew before I graduated...
1. Rejection is okay. Before I found Mindless, I was applying for other jobs and I applied for about 30 jobs and only got 1 response. I took this really to heart that with a degree, I couldn’t even get a response from these employers. Whilst I don’t condone this approach that employers take, I want to reiterate this is not a direct reflection of you and your abilities.
2. You don’t need to know everything. You may have got your degree, but the learning process has only just begun. 1 full year into the world of work and I find that I take a lot of the learning as I go. You are not expected to know everything when you start a job, else that would leave no room for learning or growth.
3. Don’t be afraid to reach and ask for what you want. Even if the answer is no, if you didn’t have that thing before, you’re no worst off. I think this is particularly important for anyone wanting to work freelance. Don’t be afraid to reach out to potential clients or collaborators. Because so much of what you want could be just on the other side of fear.
4. Know your worth, both as a human and your work. Don’t ever downplay or undersell yourself. We have this trait of being overly humble, to avoid coming across as big-headed. But I think this is outdated. Every single person has value to offer to this world. Knowing that you have value to add is not self-centered, it’s self-love.
5. Celebrate ALL your wins, big and small. You might not walk into your dream job, and that’s okay. You might start with an entry-level job or move between a couple of jobs, roles, or positions, do another degree, before you find your footing and really gain a feel for what you want out of your career. I worked at Waitrose for almost 2 years whilst I was finding my feet in the start-up environment that Mindless operates in. So, if it takes you a little while to find where you want to be, or just get on the right track, know that every step is a lesson learned, an opportunity for growth and therefore a reason to celebrate.