Anyone else feeling like they have failed?
After graduation, I expected to find my first grad role and move out of my parent’s home into my first flat. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, that did not happen and now a year later I find myself exactly where I started.
As graduates, the world is our oyster: no commitments, no deadlines and finally the chance to get out there and start the journey we have always dreamed of. From personal experience, it's massively demotivating and crushing when the world is put on pause and we are unable to begin all of these journeys. As someone who struggled massively with education, exams and the pressures of 'next steps', I was feeling so excited for the next chapter of my life, away from results and to finally succeed at something I love. Three months into my new grad role in London and with some savings for a flat deposit, moving back home meant I was back at square one, thinking how did I get so close and yet I am now so far?
I had convinced myself I had failed.
For me, I felt stuck living at home. My commute to and from London with my wonderful role with a fantastic company felt like it was my own, my independence, my little piece of happiness. I was proud to be joining this new community of postgrads and wasn't ready to give that up. I asked myself, what can I do from the comfort of my bedroom to stay somewhat proactive, in the industry I feel so passionate about?
This isn't exactly what I signed up for. It became a different approach into the industry for all postgraduates. I set out to connect, virtually; discover event professionals and other postgraduates who were all experiencing the same halt in their journeys. How can I provide value and a routine for myself? How can I continue my career journey within such tight restrictions? I published my blog, dedicated to my passion for events and lifestyle in general. I joined communities such as Event Grads and New Grad, volunteering my time writing, featuring and hosting different posts and virtual events, building up my events portfolio. A passion for supporting other postgraduates and students began to evolve, and from this I developed an events portfolio from any opportunities I could find to not only keep myself busy, but to also develop professionally and share my own experiences with other students and graduates.
A year on and my outlook on the last 12 months has changed massively, and I have been able to break down the engrained concept in my mind that I have not failed, but instead thrived. Before the pandemic we all had goals, plans and expectations for ourselves and in the midst of the panic and change we have had to not only create new plans, but accept them and try and put them into place. This new agenda will actually help our generation to grow, to be free, to realise that we are able to take a tough situation and turn it into something wonderful.
From such a young age we are thrown into a society that has already set the layout for us, instead of us taking it into our own hands. I now see light at the end of the tunnel and, with a slight change of outlook, standards and 'normal' routine have changed for the better. What has been the impact on postgraduates and the next generation of industry professionals? We can all agree that it has set us back to a degree BUT we can also recognise that it has made us more ready than ever; with focussed minds, new outlooks and an even deeper thrive for our future.
'We are all supposed to be where we are at this very moment'
- a very wise person