Thursday, 18 June 2015

So, What Now? Life After University

Adjusting to life as a freelancer

Life just got real again. After 4 years, 2 Universities and approximately 1.5 degrees I am now officially done with University and back in the real world again. It's scary. It's unfamiliar. What the heck am I supposed to do now? Granted, it should be pretty simple; apply for all of the jobs and start the daily 9-5 grind along with every other graduate who's ever graduated. For me... not so much. 

As someone who suffers from chronic illness, I'm very aware of my limitations when it comes to work. My last 40-50hr-a-week job is the reason I'm in this mess. I worked myself into the ground. It was my inability to continue working like that that led me back into education at the age of 29. I wanted to do something productive again and better myself. I suppose it was the best thing that could have happened, really. I wasn't happy working dodgy, hectic shifts in the service industry and it ended up breaking me (literally). 

So, what's the plan?

University of Greenwich Queen Mary's Court
University of Greenwich, Maritime Campus
The first step is coming to terms with the fact that I won't get to visit my gorgeous campus at Greenwich University every day from now on. In fact, I'm probably going to have to leave London entirely and move back to Derbyshire for a while after my graduation ceremony is done. Greenwich University isn't perfect but boy, is it a beautiful and inspiring environment to study in (if it's good enough for Jack Sparrow, it's good enough for me). 

To cut a long, rambly story short, I'm going to give the freelancing life a try. Whilst studying for my PR and Communications degree, I undertook freelance social media management roles part-time and I really loved it. I got some amazing feedback from clients and it's really made me think that perhaps I can do it full time. Given my circumstances, it seems like the best option. I get to do work I enjoy whilst also being able to work to my own schedule. I'll also have more opportunities to work on the blog. Sounds great, but it's also kinda terrifying. I need to learn how to sell myself, which doesn't come naturally to me. I need to get my head around the fact that I am allowed to call myself an expert now. I have the qualifications and experience, so why wouldn't anyone want to work with me? 
Image Credit - WeHeartIt
While I figure all this out, I'm going to be retreating back to The Shire, spending time with all of my loved ones (who I do miss when I'm in London), doing lots of writing and building up a freelance portfolio to be proud of. Don't get me wrong, if an amazing opportunity comes along in the meantime, I'd jump at the chance to stay in London. I'm completely in love with this city. Is it weird that I find all the hustle and bustle to be peaceful? My decision to leave for now is purely financial, plus the fact that I could probably benefit from a hefty dose of Derbyshire countryside while I work things out. 

So, while all this is terrifying and unknown, I definitely feel like I'm up to the challenge. I just need to get my positivity hat on and put myself out there. I think the universe owes me a bit of good luck. Hopefully, there won't be too much disruption to my blogs while I'm moving and getting resettled, but I hope you'll all stick with me. 

How did you adjust to life after graduation? What are your top tips for getting started as a freelancer? 
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