Guide for Graduates

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Photograph by Sergee Bee (Via Unsplash)

May. A great month where we *normally* move into the warmer weather, although living the UK it can’t be guaranteed! May is also the time of year where most University Students finish up their academic year!

For anyone in their final year this month obviously holds a lot of importance. Unless you are of to study a PhD or Masters, in which case, see you back in September! 🙂

However for anyone about to take the leap into being a Graduate and young professional I want to direct you all to a fantastic piece by Ad Week – a Graduate Guide.

Now before you dismiss this as something that is only relevant to individuals looking to enter the advertising world, take it from someone who has been through this experience – graduating is the same experience regardless of what you studied!

There is no clear or perfect way to leave Uni and land that perfect job, it was 6 months before I first started working at GPJ (which is nicely documented in my Graduate Journey series). But there are a few things that you can start to do to first obtain a job & a few things that are useful to know and anticipate once you actually start working.

So go ahead & take a look at the guides, let me know if it helped & feel free to add some additional points!

My personal favourite of the series is What you’ll learn from that 1st year in the Job

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How to embrace the commute to work!

Train

Photo by Maria Molinero (via Unsplash)

Way back in January 2013 I wrote a post on ‘How to beat the boredom of the commute to work!‘ At the time I was travelling just shy of an hour each way to my placement office BUT if we fast forward 2 years I now spend 4 hours a day travelling to work.

Yes that’s right I did just say 4 hours.

2 hours in the morning & 2 hours in the evening!

I would also say that 40% of the overall 4 hours is spent standing up, pressed into strangers armpits. So excuse me when I step forward and say I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of ways to occupy time when commuting to work!

With this updated experience, and the fact we’re all now back commuting, I wanted to share a few ways that could alleviate the boredom of commuting.

Tracy Thomas

Photograph by Tracy Thomas

Catch up on catch-up TV

In 2013 I made the fatal error of making a ridiculous statement that watching TV on the commute to work just isn’t worth it. Today I would like to officially retract that statement!

Iplayer, 4OD & ITV Player will become your best BEST friend. I spend most mornings on the way to work either on Iplayer or catching up on the weekends F1 race!

The benefit I find to watching everything on my phone vs a larger tablet is that my phone is small enough to watch even when I’m pressed into a random strangers back on the tube! Something that unfortunately is a regular part of my journey to the office.

Jaelynn Castillo

Photograph by Jaelynn Castillo

Utilise the saying ‘There’s an App for that’ 

I fully fell in love with my iPhone when I realised I could read my kindle books & listen to audiobooks without having to reconnect to my computer or carry around extra tech devices! I was a few years late to the party but the amount of space you save from not having to carry about that brand new hard back copy of that best-selling novel has saved so much weight on my journeys!

sony headphones

Sony Headphone Advert (via Yosoh)

Invest in some good headphones

Please don’t be that person who watches something without wearing headphone and thus subjecting your fellow travellers to your terrible TV choices. Or even worst someone who listens to their music & full volume and with headphones that bleed sound!

A good pair of headphones will not only save your dignity when watching Rich Kids of Beverly Hills on the 7.55am train next to lots of people in business suites, but think of all the times you’ve been able to hear the base of a fellow commuters music. Nah mate not on!

Headphones also come in handy when you want to escape with some music (I was a previous Apple Music user – mainly so I could watch Taylor Swift’s documentary but have moved back to the ever superior Spotify!) Or alternatively listen to Stephen Fry read you the greatest book series of all time – Harry Potter (I’m current listening to the Prisoner of Azkaban as I type this!)

Kanken

Photo by Evgen Ivanova (via The Kanken Street Kreep)

Purchase a backpack!

Now whilst theoretically you only need your phone, headphones and wallet to get to work – I’ve no doubt you currently use a giant bag filled with all manner of things (most you might have forgotten about)  this is where a backpack becomes your best friends, mainly because you can fit close to a kitchen sink in most & they are one of the easiest bags to travel with on the tube. That is if you remember to take them off your back!

Okay so a backpack might not be your cup of tea – really it is about having a solid and reliable bag that works for what you need it for! I am a daily user of Fjallraven’s Kanken bags (of which I owe three – 2 Mini & 1 Normal) and the reason my brother has started calling me Dora the Explorer. Something to do with being really short, wearing a pink jumper & carrying a tiny backpack!

Patrick Tomasso

Photo by Patrick Tomasso

Just take some time.

For some the type of journey I do to make it into the office is a step too far in terms of journey time. For me I value the time I get each morning, I enjoy the walks & the way I have been able to come quite familiar with certain stations & more of London. And it is that which made me appreciate my commute – being able to take some time before I have to check emails, actually enjoying a TV show or listening to a substantial amount of an audio-book, that time is really valuable!

Sure I would like to get home before 7.30pm & not have to wake up at 5.30am – but in the grand scheme of things I’ve learnt to adapt and enjoy they journey for what it is.

Just don’t talk to me about Thameslink or train delays!

So have you got any little tips for commuting to work?! Anyone a game users whilst on public transport – I’ve been thinking of opening up Animal Crossing again!?

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Questioning ‘FACTS’

Evan Dennis

Photograph by Evan Dennis (Via Unsplash)

I’ve got a confession to make, everything I say to you is my opinion. It might be shocking to know that actually everything I have ever written on here, everything I have ever said in person, is just my opinion ruffled with some carefully chosen words to make it seem more fact led.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, when I write posts aptly named and with step by step guides those opinions and views often just come from my own experiences, or from a handful of friends and peers. It is NOT a universal recognised view-point & if you follow those steps there is no guarantee that you will end up in the same position.

Today I’m wanting to give you room, though and reason to really consider and question ‘facts’ given.

I’m giving you an open card to disagree & argue with me.

When I first started out in work I would sit in meetings and take other people’s points and views head on as facts. If someone declared that x was the answer, I would naively accept that without any type of questioning (even if I did have questions & different views). I thought that because someone was my superior, has years of experience and is viewed as an expert, that what they say must be true.

And obviously in certain areas this is right. doctors, engineers, mechanics, scientists, teachers etc these people have a wealth of knowledge and understanding, have studied subjects that are filled deep with facts and statistics. So when they tell you something it is often true.

But when we enter some other industries, the same principles aren’t in place. Because they are not built on needing defined data to seem true. When someone backs information with statistics that is fantastic, it is a little more than just someone’s opinion that stems for them experiencing something one time & their friends also having been through that same situation.

But lets not take that as a complete fact. I was reading a consumer study that was defining ‘Millennial Consumer’ and what they are interested in, the value they can bring to a business.

They made sweeping statements about these group of people, firstly without defining the age range they class Millennial as some people say 18-32 others say 18-28 – without clarifying who these people are, M or F? Their ethnicity, location?

All of that is bad enough BUT just guess how many people this study was based on?

How many interviews do you think you need to make a statement about US Millennial’s, where the population is over 300,000,000?

1,500 

They created a study looking at a tiny % of people who might be classed in this area. Topping it off we don’t have any information on if they work, level of income, their background, upbringing!

The thing is  you could have 2 people, both 25 and both live in London, but one person comes from a working class family and is in a job earning minimum wage. The other went to private school, works part-time & has financial support coming in from their family. They are not going to be interested in the same things, their view points, opinions are going to differ & that is why lumping them in the same generalised statement is unfair.

It might be based from statistics BUT sometimes you’ve got to question what that really means.

Don’t take facts at face value!

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