So, after seeing the pie chart listed below on LinkedIn it got me thinking …
As graduates a massive amount of pressure is placed upon us to start achieving success straight from graduation. But what is success and how do we measure it as a graduate? Surely it is personal and down to the individual, right? However, a blanket approach is applied to all graduates in what they are expected to achieve, and I think that is damaging.
How We’re Taught To Measure Success As a Graduate
For example, we are taught to measure success as a graduate by gaining a place on a prestigious graduate scheme, with a large multinational organisation. Sure, that is the route for some graduates but with smaller businesses accounting for 99.9% of the business population and employing three fifths of the overall employment in the UK, it poses the question if this is represented of the graduate population. A key message we are keen to take out to campus is Think Big Choose Small, where we open students minds to the possibility of making a true difference in a smaller business.
Another factor we’re pressured into believing measures success is salary. With some graduates believing they can walk straight into a £30k job. However, the salary isn’t everything! So make sure you consider the skills you can utilise and the impact you can make on that company.
How You Should Really Measure Success As a Graduate
So how should we measure success as graduates? We spend most of our life at work so surely being able to enjoy what we do must be a priority. Another crucial factor that we should include when measuring success is our personal free time. There is an assumption that when you are younger you are required to work all the hours you are given to develop your career. However, this is not always the case. There must be a balance between work and home life. Try to ensure that the boundaries of both do not become blurred!
We have all seen the increased emphasis surrounding mental health and especially mental health at work. So as the second pie chart shows this along with physical health gives a better picture of success. If you enjoy what you do and are good at it, you are far less likely to feel stressed and anxious. Meaning you can better develop your career.
Finally, the salary and job title are not everything as the first pie chart depicts. As a graduate your starting salary becomes almost irrelevant when compared to the progression and development you can achieve. It’s hard being a graduate especially in the current situation. Remember there are more ways to measure your success then just merely numbers and a job title!