FINISHING UNIVERSITY- THE MOST SCARY OR EXCITING TIME OF YOUR LIFE?

January 1, 2019

Hey guys! I’ve not really given you a life update in a while so I’m sorry for that. The last 7 months has been interesting to say the least and an awful lot has happened since I wrote the post ‘Life update- New job and moving to London’.

I’ve also lost my mojo a little bit with writing blog posts, as I was finding that alongside working full time (for the majority of the last 7 months, but I’ll get to that later) I only really had time for Instagram. If you’ve read my Instagram vs Blogging post, that was also recently published in blogosphere magazine *pinch me*, you’ll know that I was putting my energy into Instagram as that was the area I was seeing the most growth in and generating the most revenue from. Whilst that is still true, I miss writing. I miss doing something more than just posting photos on Instagram. Point being, I’m going to make a massive effort in the new year to write more on my little blog, for me and for you. I want to write more topical pieces that people out there may be able to relate to. Posts that in some way may help people, because that’s the most important thing at the end of the day really.

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So, back to the matter at hand. I hear all the time about people getting to the end of their university years and being scared about the future. They may not know what to do with their lives, what career to go into, whether to stay at home or move to another city. But after graduating back in July and having a whirlwind of a first 6 months post-graduation, I’m here to tell you that you can change your attitude towards the unknown. Leaving university doesn’t need to be scary, because it’s quite frankly one of the most exciting times of our lives. Bare with me whilst I explain, because I’m telling you now I was one of those university students who thought they had it all figured out…

After dropping out of the University of Sheffield in favour of a fashion buying/marketing course at De Montfort University, which you can read all about in one of my most popular posts ever here, I thought I’d finally found the career that I wanted to pursue. I remember whilst at university a lot of the other students actually had no interest in pursuing a career in fashion buying, but for me it was a done deal. I had an amazing placement year at a huge supermarket retailer and after that it further cemented the fact that buying was for me. I ended my final year of uni gaining a 1st class honours degree with multiple job offers. I hadn’t had any troubles deciding what career path I was going to go into or trouble finding a job. In the end I’d decided to move down to London and take a job at a large fashion retailer as a buyer’s admin assistant.

But whilst you may be sat reading this at this point thinking I’m one of those smug, textbook people that it all works out for; one of those people that lands their dream job straight out of university. Well I’m telling you now, it didn’t work out. And the months between May- October were potentially some of the worst and uncertain of my life so far.

I’m not going to go into detail about why my job as a buyer’s admin assistant in London didn’t work out, but after a few months I knew that the situation I was in wasn’t working out and in September 2018 I decided to leave. When I handed in my notice I had no other jobs lined up and had no idea what the future would hold.

I was extremely fortunate that I still had the option to move back home to Leicester, so that was my back up plan. I also felt like I’d potentially rushed into getting a full time grad job so soon after university (I started my first grad job a week after I handed in my dissertation) and it would be good to have some time back home whilst I figured out my next move. But if you know me, then you know I can’t sit still for more than 2 seconds and after a few days of handing in my notice I’d been offered a buying job back in Leicester. So it had all worked out quite well right?… wrong.

(Just as a side note, I’m also very aware as I’m writing this that not everyone may be in the position to just quit their job, so please don’t think that I’m advocating doing this with no alternative lined up. This was just my situation and I was always fortunate that I knew I had a place back in Leicester at home if I needed to come back.)

Anyway, when it came to signing the contract for the new job, it turned out that my blogging work was a direct conflict of interest. If I was to take the job I’d have to stop working with any/all brands in any capacity- gifted products, paid ads, complimentary services, you name it. So after the last year building up my blog and Instagram it wasn’t an option to just stop. So that job didn’t work out either.

At this point I was working as self-employed with my blog/Instagram work anyway, so I at least had some money coming in (even though it really wasn’t a lot at that point). But I decided at that point that maybe I’d spend a few months taking it easy, focussing on my blogging work, figuring out my next move. For me, I believe post-uni is the perfect time to make mistakes, try out new things, decide who and what you want to be. Just because you see your classmates in their dream jobs post university and it looks like from their Instagram that it’s all working out, it doesn’t matter. Plus, always remember that people only ever show their highlight reel on social media.

Having said this, it was a stark contrast to the girl who back in May 2018 had just finished university, had multiple job offers and was looking forward to starting her career in fashion buying. Instead, I had moved back home and had no job. I was back to square one. Scary you’re thinking? I never quite saw it that way.

I saw it as an exciting opportunity. If I found a new job, great. If I didn’t, I’d just carry on freelancing as a blogger/influencer. However, after a couple of months of freelancing, I decided that I didn’t want to pursue a career in just blogging/influencing, which is definitely a topic for another post.

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Top|Weekday at ASOS Jacket|Zara *Trousers|7 For all Mankind *Bag| Lipault Paris x J.P. Gaultier *Boots| Boohoo

I’d always wondered whether I’d enjoy a career in marketing instead. The degree I did was split between fashion buying/marketing but I’d previously only focussed on pursuing a career in buying. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that a career in PR/influencer marketing could be an avenue that could be a better option. I already knew the blogging side of the industry, so it would be amazing experience to be on the other side of the industry as well.

I saw an advert for an Influencer Campaign Assistant role at an influencer marketing agency in central London called The Studio and thought it sounded perfect! I went for the interview and I got it! Yay for me.

So I moved back to London and started my new job. I’ve now been there for a couple of months and I’m loving it. I’m in a really interesting job, with a great team, in central London, working at a company that actually values the influencer work I do in my own time. It’s a win win for me. Despite it being a rollercoaster 7 months, it’s all worked out.

Will I ever go back to fashion buying? I don’t have any intentions to at the moment. I’m perfectly happy in the role I’m in. Sometimes I think to myself was it a waste to spend all that time gaining experience in a career that I’ve put to one side? I don’t think it was. Because everything that’s happened up to now has got me to the point I’m at. And I’m happy, which is the most important thing.

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To cut a long story short, finishing university can be one of the most uncertain times of our lives. But it should never be seen as scary, as it can be exciting. Whether you’re starting the perfect grad job straight out of uni, going travelling, working part time until you figure things out…it’s all perfectly fine. Don’t worry about having it all figured out straight away and if you’re not happy and you’re in a fortunate enough position to do so, re-think again and find the job that’s right for you. Life is too short and at the end of the day it’s your life and you’re in control of it.

Until next time,

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(*Disclaimer- All items in this post marked with a (*) were gifted to me, but I was not paid to write this post or feature them in this post. As always, all views and opinions are 100% my own.)

All photos in this post were taken by the lovely Maria J, using an Olympus OMD EM10 Mark II with an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens.

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8 responses to “FINISHING UNIVERSITY- THE MOST SCARY OR EXCITING TIME OF YOUR LIFE?”

  1. Oh Robyn, this is such an amazing post and it’s so great to see that despite all the ups and downs, you’re now at a very exciting place for yourself. Personally, I’ve still got a year and a half to go until I’m down with college and I’m already getting asked what I want to do after. This is such a daunting question for me because I’m such an eclectic person that I would love to do a bit of everything if I could.

    Anyways, I don’t want to ramble too much! I just wanted to say that I LOVED this post and it has inspired me so much! You deserve all the successes that come your way! Keep on rocking the blogging world! (Congrats on graduating and your new job too!)

    Bukola Veronica,
    http://www.bukolaveronica.com

    • robyn says:

      Thankyou SO much girl, it means a lot. It’s such a difficult time and there’s always lots of pressure put on us to know exactly what we want to do, when that isn’t always so clear. I hope you figure it out, but if not I’m sure it’ll all work out for the best whatever you end up doing!

      R x

  2. Pinja says:

    This was SUCH a great post to read! I’ve still got about 1,5 years before graduating from my International Fashion Branding programme and I’ve already been getting a bit anxious about what to do after, but reading this post made me realise that I don’t have to have it all planned out and ultimately it’ll all work out in the end 🙂

    • robyn says:

      Thankyou! So glad you enjoyed the post. Yes definitely don’t worry about having it all figured out, it will all fall into place 🙂

      R x

  3. Sounds like you’ve had a rollercoaster few months but at least it’s worked out well in the end! I graduated from uni last year and I’m still trying to work out what I want to do… x

    https://emmaboughtwhat.blogspot.com

    • robyn says:

      Yeah it’s definitely been a bit up and down! I think there’s way too much pressure on us! I’m sure it’ll all fall into place for you.

      R x

  4. I loved this post!! So glad to hear that it all fell into place in the end, and as someone who is currently studying PR but is a little worried because i’m now thinking of heading into Marketing instead, it was really inspiring

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