5 Years From Graduation – 5 Life Lessons & Hacks

By Becca Cole

1. Be content with what you have

If you are discontent now then finding a job, finding a partner, having a kid, or getting more friends, will not fill that hole. You will still be discontent. I see this all the time – people are discontent with being single, so they find a partner. But then they are discontent with not being married so they have a big elaborate wedding, only to still feel discontent so they think they need to have kids, etc.
Change your way of thinking.
Your happiness should never be based on things, because things let you down. iPhones break. Shoes get ruined. Your PS4 is already outdated. Christmas ends. Your pen explodes in your Michael Kors bag. Likewise, you shouldn’t base your happiness on what you don’t have – be content with what you have and the rest will be a bonus.

2. Don’t overthink things.

What a time waster! If I could collect all the time I’ve spent overthinking things, I’d probably get years of my life back. For me, this comes down to wanting to find and analyse all possible mistakes before I make them. But making mistakes is part of life. Make decisions, be decisive and don’t look back.

3. Hold your tongue.

After studying Social Work, I was passionate about everything and always felt my opinions were worth more than gold. The problem is, you aren’t always right, and your opinion isn’t always the best. Sometimes you don’t have the most experience, and it can be better to listen first and comment later. If you don’t stop talking and commenting on things, you don’t allow yourself time to listen (actually listen) to what other people have to say. Their opinion has been shaped by their experiences. Finding their story, and hearing how people got to where they are has been an unexpected and beautiful bonus to sometimes holding back my commentary.

4. Take time off

When I worked as an administrator for UTS:Careers, I was so busy that every day felt only a few minutes long. I would come to work, and my to-do list would grow by the minute, the phone never stopped ringing, and I was constantly pulled in 5 different directions. I was doing important work, but I felt that my work was so important that I couldn’t take any time off.

Shortly after this, the manager of the Careers Service took a (well deserved!) holiday, and guess what: the Department didn’t fall apart! The world didn’t stop. Her desk didn’t collapse under the weight of all the work she was accumulating. This massively changed my perspective and made me realise that no one is too important for a break. Your colleagues are capable, people can wait, and problems will often sort themselves out.

So if you can take time off, do it! Don’t let your workload hold you back.

5. Stop being a perfectionist

I am constantly in a chronic state of ‘refining’.  I always want to make things better, and while this can be a blessing, it is also a massive curse. When I stopped stressing about the tiny details, I gained so much freedom. Besides,

(Extra Recruiter Tip: Don’t use ‘Being a perfectionist’ as an answer to “What is your greatest weakness.” Just don’t do it.)

Bonus Life Hack:

Use lists. Why?

  1. They are brilliant
  2. They help collect your thoughts
  3. Great procrastinating tools
  4. Can break up work into bite-sized pieces and make it seem less intimating

Also, this is how I make my to-do list:

 

Becca Cole is a passionate Recruitment Advisor at UTS:Careers. Her previous experiences as a Social Worker, along with years of University administration experience have given her a great amount of compassion & knowledge when advising students. She is also currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Career Development & Education and is committed to staying up to date on ‘all things careers’.

Author: Guest Contributor

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