4 things I have learnt since university

I graduated from university in 2020. Since graduating, life has been an interesting journey, and a lot of good and not so good things have happened. However, I have learnt a lot from these experiences, and in this blog post I will talk about 4 things I have learnt since entering the working world.

Don’t be afraid to chase up people

There have been lots of times where I have asked someone about something and they haven’t replied for a period of time. In these situations, I have had to give them a chaser. One thing that has been very clear to me upon entering the working world is that being able to chase up people when required is important and nothing to be afraid about. A lot of people are very busy and sometimes they forget to reply. When it comes to work, I have had people read an email I sent to them and told themselves they will come back to it in a few days time, but other things got in the way. When it comes to friendships, people haven’t always had time to reply to my message as they had other things they needed to prioritise. When I have chased up people, I have found that they don’t mind, as they know it is done with good intentions. If anything, it shows proactivity and people appreciate the reminder as they would have forgotten otherwise.

Having a good work life balance is essential

For me, a work life balance that works for me involves:

  • Being busy so that I can get involved in opportunities and things that are good for me, but not extremely busy to the point where exhaustion and fatigue comes in.
  • Going in the office as often as possible to have a separation between work and home, as well as social interaction.
  • Making time to do lots of social stuff and other interesting things outside of work, but also giving myself enough time to rest.

I have found that a good work life balance is vital for a few reasons. Firstly, and the most obvious reason is that a good work life balance helps my wellbeing, as it gives me time to do things that I enjoy. Furthermore, a good work life balance means that my life doesn’t revolve around my job and my career, as I would find that quite boring. Life after graduation does get very hectic and full on, and I think it is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and effectively deprioritise work life balance without even knowing. I found that regularly reflecting on things I could do to further improve my work life balance helped me. I strongly believe that it is important to actively think about what a good work life balance looks like for you, and how you will go about implementing that.

I only have a finite amount of time and energy

In my full time job, I work from 9am to 5:15pm, and have a 1 hour commute either way. If you combine the working hours, the commute and the time spent getting ready, this equates to about 11 hours each weekday. This takes up a lot of time and energy and therefore when it comes to doing stuff outside of work, I only have a finite amount of time and energy. There are times where I technically have enough time to do all the things I have wanted but not enough energy to take all of it. There have also been times where I have had enough energy to do all the things I have wanted but not enough hours to do it all. Working life is very busy for me most of the time, which means I don’t have lots of free time. Therefore, I have had to plan and prioritise carefully to make sure I am making the best use of my time and energy, instead of believing that I can take on absolutely everything.

Its not a bad thing that not all friendships are meant to last

This was only something I fully appreciated very recently. I made a lot of good friends at university, but I probably only speak to a third of them now. Although it is sad that I am not in touch with all of them, it has made me realise that not all friendships are meant to last as life does get in the way. Some friendships weren’t meant to last past university, but that doesn’t take away the value they added in my life during university. The same can apply to friendships in the working world. I have had a couple of people who I was good friends with at work, but the friendship didn’t last when they left the company. All these friends served a purpose when they were in my life, and I valued the friendship when it lasted.  All of these experiences have made me value my friendships more, and appreciate that it’s OK for not all friendships to last forever.

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