Part 1: Jonny’s perspective (our CEO):
“Your hardest times lead to the greatest moments of your life”
– Roy T Bennett – The Light In the Heart
I don’t envy the class of 2020. With higher education institutions in an unprecedented crisis, the labour market frozen and backpacking off-limits, this year’s graduates are faced with few options and an uncertain future. However, the challenges graduates face and how they overcome them will make them stronger and this experience will set them apart from those who graduated during easier times.
To survive, this class will be forced to think on their feet, make the most of what they have and adjust where they thought they were going in life. It’s a hard lesson we all receive at some stage of our careers – the Class of 2020 just happen to be served it on their first day. But, some of the best people you can employ are the ones that get stronger when the challenges get harder. These people rarely come from an easy past, they’ve weathered a storm or two.
The world of graduation has been turned upside down this year, but having 2020 Graduate on your CV will be a sign of strength not weakness in years to come.
In the middle of lockdown, with the team at The Book of Everyone all working remotely, we hired Cami, a class of 2020 graduate. To this day, we’ve never met in person, all interviews were conducted through video and she’s worked remotely with the rest of the team. She has integrated brilliantly.
As Cami has walked the walk, I thought it would be helpful to hear her thoughts on how to make the most of graduating this year. At the end of the post, you’ll find 5 tips to further help 2020 any graduate you know..
Over to you Cami.
Part 2: Cami’s perspective (our 2020 graduate)
What To Do After Graduating: Create a New Normal
Hi there! My name is Cami and I am the new Marketing Intern at TBOE, but I am also part of the Class 2020. Graduating this year has been crazy, in all sorts of ways, so I definitely understand how you are feeling. It is a bit sad and frustrating we didn’t get a chance to properly celebrate this achievement of ours which demanded a lot of all-nighters and many, many cups of coffee; however, I’m pretty sure that we are all in this together and we will make it through.
But, first things first: congratulations! You made it! Embrace this enormous achievement of yours! Whether you are graduating high school, college or even your masters, this definitely is a different (not to say a weird) time to enter the real world.
Even though we didn’t get a chance to walk across a stage flaunting our diploma and smiling for a picture our parents attempted to take while they wiped away their tears, we still get to experience things that no other generation has. Think of it this way, for the rest of our lives, we will have something past graduates didn’t: a cool story. Years from now people will continue to ask what it was like graduating during a time of social distancing.
And I know that you are about to say that you still don’t feel like an adult, but that’s okay… you shouldn’t. Actually, none of us do after we graduate. And yes, we might be feeling scared, overwhelmed, anxious, confused, sad, or even angry, to say the least, because our plans for the summer and even the second semester of 2020 have taken a very unexpected turn. But it is not the end of the world, it might be just an opportunity life is giving us to reevaluate our decisions and go for what we truly want. There are hundreds of opportunities out there to go after, and as overwhelming and stressful it might be, you will find the right one for you.
You know, graduation is very intimidating even under normal circumstances, and given the current state of the world, you might feel you are at a crossroads. But you are not alone (trust me on this one) and you do have multiple options you can choose from. So:
- Don’t panic. Take some time to reflect on what are your options or what truly interests you and brainstorm possible alternatives you might be interested in carrying out in the future.
- Talk to somebody you trust. Ask for advice and their opinion. Not necessarily to define your action but it will help you see new perspectives.
- Understand the value of education. Continue your education. Whether you differ or start your first semester online, do go for higher studies. It is a great option to shape your career to continue learning and growing.
- Find your passion. Try getting an internship, a part-time job or volunteering in a field you would enjoy. You will definitely gain valuable knowledge, and even more, if it is in a field you would like to be involved with in the future. Or maybe even take a sabbatical and work on yourself. Throughout that process, you may find your passion.
- Whatever you do, make it something worthwhile! (Yes, this one is a must*). Because this too, shall pass and you will still have all your life ahead of you. Maybe you don’t realize it, but the world is at your feet so make it yours.
*No matter how old you are, this applies to you too. Regardless of the stage, you are in your life, you do have the world at your feet and you are always in time to make something worthwhile.
I would like to share with you these truly wise-ish words that inspired me, by the former US president, Barack Obama:
“So as scary and uncertain as these times may be, they are also a wake-up call and they’re an incredible opportunity for your generation because you don’t have to accept what was considered normal before. You don’t have to accept the world as it is. You can make it into the world as it should be and could be. You can create a new normal, one that is fairer and gives everybody opportunity and treats everyone equally and builds bridges between people instead of dividing them.”
Remember, life is not meant to be lived by the book, even though for many of us that is difficult to understand, and this is what this pandemic is encouraging everyone to do: analyze other options that before you didn’t even consider. Plus, don’t forget how far you’ve come, so keep pushing and believing in yourself.
At least, in the middle of this uncertain period, here are 5 things that you should be 100% certain of are:
- Invest in yourself, education is definitely the best investment you can make for you.
- Things will get worse, they always do.
- But, things will get better, they always do.
- You should always be authentic and true to yourself.
- If you pour your heart in anything you do, you’re more likely to succeed.
So, dear class of 2020, let’s go find our passion and create our new normal!
By Cami (Marketing Intern)
4 things to help 2020 graduates land a job
(And 1 to celebrate their achievements together!)
- Companies offering virtual work experience at the moment:
- Postgraduate courses
- How to prepare for a video interview
- Create a better LinkedIn profile
- Make a graduation celebration video. It’s hard for 2020 graduates to feel a sense of closure without the usual graduation celebrations with friends. Our free video celebration service is a great way for any Class of 2020 to immortalise their graduation time together, even though they can’t be together.
PS: Share this with somebody who needs to read it, we all know a 2020 graduate that will need some words of advice.