16 February 2022

From One Graduate to Another

Nick Ford-Young

Finishing uni… a milestone moment which is both exciting and terrifying. It wraps up in a flash, from writing your dissertation, then exams, then graduation… and then the job-hunt.

This can be one of the most stressful times to navigate when starting your career. Not only is the market incredibly competitive, but you’ve to figure out what the hell you’re doing and what it is that you want at the same time.

One of the most important things I believe you should keep in mind, is that for each opportunity and experience, there is always something to take and learn from. This goes for the bad ones too, the mistakes or slip ups, or the job started, which turned out not to be for you. All these little things enable you to understand more clearly what you want from your job, keeping you on your toes as you evaluate and reflect on what you are looking for.

Where to start…

When beginning the job hunt, I didn’t know where to even start. What role was I going to put down into that search box? Some people probably do/did know… I certainly didn’t. An alternative way to tackle this is to think about yourself in a job. Think of the things you can see yourself doing and working on day-today. Are you communicating with clients? Or helping with internal structures? Maybe it’s working on new features of a product? By building up a list of these things you get to see the picture of role forming. This may look different to what you had been looking for and can offer you a fresh perspective on roles you could be applying for. For myself, this played a large part in looking for my first role, and it allowed me to visualise more where I wanted to be.

Overwhelmed or unchallenged?

Many of my peers are now working in different industries and pursuing different lines of work. A common thread throughout these different jobs which grads found important is the balance of work and learning. We all enter the workforce hungry to learn. Some places fail to understand how to implement this correctly. We want to be challenged and to push boundaries moving on from uni, and the best way to facilitate this is to coach, encourage and teach. Another common thread seems to be on the other end of the scale, where you’re left with little to no responsibility, stunting your progression. Finding somewhere which gets this balance right is a big win.

Can a role be too rigid?

Another key point which ties into the balance of the role is the rigidity. Graduate roles should allow for some level of fluidity, where you get exposure to the different areas and roles within a company. By allowing you to learn about the other teams and their work, you can open your eyes to other possible roles and opportunities available to you which you may not have seen before. While on the other hand, this exposure may have you more certain than ever that you are in the right role for yourself. For me having a certain level of fluidity really allowed me to find my feet as the introduction to all areas of Boldspace enabled me to understand the exact role I play, as well as everyone else.

A combination of these thought processes helped me to settle on my decision for Boldspace. They offered a culture of encouragement and learning. Along with this, the role of an Account Executive working on BoldLens, offered a lot of variety on what everyday looked like. By getting exposure to the agency side of the business while also working on a wide scope of tasks for the platform, it ticked all the boxes for me.

Three Tips

If I were to reflect and offer 3 tips to grads looking for their first job, after having just gone through the experience myself, it would be

  1. Talk to as many people as you can for advice or help. People have gone through this before and are always happy to offer help in any way they can. Even if it is reaching out to someone in a role you could see yourself in and asking could they offer any mentorship. Don’t hesitate to take that jump and ask for any insights they may have.
  2. Use your interviews to learn as much about the role and the business as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Getting this information early on can allow you to prepare and get a feel for the business and if it is the right place for.
  3. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! People can often put a lot of weight on your first job to be ‘the perfect job’. You will learn something everywhere that will stand to you in future roles. Just getting in and starting somewhere, like an industry you have an interest in or a company you want to be involved in, can be extremely valuable.