Newly Graduated? Don’t Panic!

If you’re a student who has recently finished university, chances are that you’re suffering something of a culture shock. For three years you’ve been living in a cosy cocoon, working and playing hard, making friends and enjoying your new found freedom. Once you’ve left? Not so much.
Indeed, it’s common for graduates to come to earth with a nasty bump within the first few months. You may find yourself having to grapple with debt, looking for work in a competitive climate or struggling to find somewhere to live. You may have to tackle issues you’d previously only guessed at, such as paying utility bills or insuring your property.
If you want a crash course in the commonest problems facing graduates today, read on!
When you’re a student, debt is a fact of life. Your average student finishes their degree with a debt of approximately £22,000, to be paid off throughout their working lives. Yet what if your problem goes deeper than that? What if you’ve got caught in a cycle of living beyond your means, ending up with debts you see no way of paying off?
Don’t settle for ‘quick fix’ solutions. If you have a poor credit history, most banks will hesitate to give you a loan, and applying for credit cards and overdrafts will only exacerbate the problem. Steer clear of payday loan companies- they’re only intended as one off payments for customers with a regular income.
If your debts are too much for you to handle, you should seek advice from a recognised authority, such as Scottish Debt Help. Their trained advisors will discuss your situation and decide upon the right payment plan for you.
Looking for a job
One of the biggest shocks post-graduation is how difficult it can be to find work. Although a degree used to be a unique selling point, that’s no longer the case; most employers request a minimum level of experience and/or vocational training. The kinds of jobs you may have held before university don’t always give you the skills you need for a well paid role in a major company.
Learn as much as you can; sign up for recruitment agencies and go to careers fairs. Make your job search specific rather than send the same CV to hundreds of employers- they can always tell. Network where you can: sometimes it’s as much a case of who you know as what you know. You never know who might be in a position to help you.
Where you can, use facilities such as the National Careers service. Not only will they help you plan your career path, they can recommend the best training for your goals.
Finding somewhere to live
Although graduates often return home after university, that might not be suitable in your case. Perhaps you already have a job in your university town, or you feel that living with your parents would be a retrograde step. Whatever the reasons, bear this in mind: finding a property isn’t always easy, with even the smallest flat setting you back around five hundred pounds a month.
Shop around. See if you can share with somebody, whether your partner or a friend. Try all the platforms possible, such as adverts in the paper or notices in shop windows. Sign up for as many housing websites as you can- they’re the most effective means of finding rented accommodation these days, with sites such as Zoopla allowing you to tailor your search to your specific needs.
Life skills
Something you’ll soon learn: everyday life is incredibly expensive and complicated. There are so many things you’re expected to know: who is the best service provider for your landline and home internet? How do you go about paying rent or council tax? How do you go about insuring your possessions, particularly if you live in rented accommodation?

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