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Graduating from university sees most graduates fall into one of two broad categories. Either they know exactly what they want to do and have the job that they want lined up, ready and waiting for them. Or, they leave university with their hard-earned degree, but they don’t know what life holds for them next and face uncertainty about how to find the exact industry they want to work in, never mind the exact job that they want to start their career in.

When I graduated from university, I most definitely fell into the second category of graduates. I must admit, I was completely unsure of what I was going to do next. An Anthropology & Sociology degree meant that I didn’t necessarily have a clear career path or direction to follow after I left university. If anything, there were too many different career options that I could have followed, none of which I really knew that much about. Thankfully, I came across the TIPi Academy, which was the exact push that I needed to get into digital marketing. It provided the insight that I desperately needed before deciding which industry I wanted to work in.

Regardless of what I ended up doing, what I was sure about was that I wanted to keep doing as many of the activities that I had done at university as possible once I did start working. Sports, societies and charity work form a huge part of university life for many students and provide the basis for some of their best experiences of their time at university. This was certainly the case for me as playing rugby and being involved with Movember allowed me to meet swathes of new people that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to get to know. It undoubtedly created some of my best memories from university and I was nervous that I would lose the chance to continue these activities alongside working.

Looking back, I had no need to be worried as, if anything, I’m now doing just as much, if not more, than I was at university. I’ve been able to continue playing rugby and fundraise for Movember. Not only that, but I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in new activities that I didn’t have the chance to at university. Bowling, dodgeball and yoga are just some of the activities that I’ve had the chance to take part in so far and that’s just in my first two and a half months. Just because you start working doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to immediately give up everything else. If you strike the right balance, then you can enjoy both.

In fact, it was being involved in these various activities that helped to prepare me for the workplace. Without even realising it, I was developing the soft skills that are necessary for engaging in and being successful in a work environment. I have found that soft skills, such as communication and social skills, have been key, especially in the digital marketing industry, to settling into working life and making that transition from university life smoother than I anticipated. By continuing with these activities, as well as trying new ones through work, I feel I have been able to continue to develop these soft skills. If I could offer advice to anyone who is about to start a new job straight out of university, or if you are still on the job hunt, is to just get involved with as much as you can once you are there! It will be invaluable to your experience, help you settle in and you’ll have a great time doing it.

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