Dealing with uncertainty as a graduate

  June 11, 2017

Being a graduate is an exciting time; you've worked hard to prove yourself, and as a result the world is your oyster. But it can't be denied that is is also a time of uncertainty, probably one of the biggest periods of uncertainty you will have faced so far. Everything beforehand was fairly planned out – school, exams, university. But now the endless options also signal vast uncertainty – when will you get a job, will you get a job, what job will that be? Then there may be questions about your future beyond work; will you find someone to settle down with, will you have a family, do you want a family, will you ever be able to buy a home? There's a lot to think about when you graduate and quite frankly, it can become quite overwhelming, quite quickly if you're not used to it. So how do you deal with this uncertainty?

First thing's first: the answer does not lie in planning every detail of your life down to a T. Some people think that the more they plan, the less uncertain their lives will be, but this is only true if everything goes to plan. If not, then it actually just creates more uncertainty. Say you plan to pursue a specific career path, but this doesn't happen for whatever reason. Now you probably have no idea what to do, and the ambiguity may easily become too much to deal with. So if planning isn't the answer, what can you do to prepare for uncertainty?

The important thing is don't box yourself in by telling yourself that certain things must happen or will happen, because the truth is they might not. You might not get that 'dream' job, you might not find someone special until you're in your 40s, and you might not be able to have children, so all those wistfully made plans could be moot. The key to dealing with uncertainty is your mindset; by taking every day as it comes and enjoying the adventure of the journey, rather than worrying about the destination, it makes it much easier to deal with the unknown. If you don't have any solid plans, then it's much harder for them to go awry. That's not to say you shouldn't have any plans at all, but be careful how you frame them – don't make them all or nothing, think of them more like 'maybe or'. Maybe you'll work in that field you've been dreaming of since you were five, OR maybe you won't. Another key component is getting information; do you want to work in a specific job because you really want to, or because someone told you to? Do you want to have a family one day or is parenthood perhaps not really for you? You can't ever know the answers to these questions exactly, but the more information you're able to gather about them will help inform your decision and take out some of the ambiguity.

When it comes to work decisions, Happy Work is here to help you understand yourself and all the options out there, so why not fill out your profile today and get matched instantly to tons of top jobs that suit you.