Written by Emiley Phillips
Image by @Jaydacheaves
Wow, throwing it back to when I graduated from university, and was all ready to go into the working world! Certainly, there were tips I had not been informed of, that I wish I was. At IALH we like to help our pals out, so here goes!
There is often pressure. It can be a scary place. When entering the working world, excuse the cliché, but it is true…you feel like a little fish in a big pond. The only way we all learn is from making mistakes. So be yourself, you do you boo! Remember that everyone started from the bottom, and no one was perfect. So, fight that pressure. Take a risk. And make errors. This is how you will work your way up after all.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to graduate and come out of university with your dream job in the bag? The reality is that this is rare. More often than not, you will go into a job and end up switching positions or companies after a year or so. Statistics show that around 33% of graduates actually quit their first jobs before completing a full year – I mean this definitely shows how sticking with one company is a thing of the past! So, take time to enjoy the journey. From each employment role you have, and from each company, lessons will be learnt which can be carried throughout life. Enjoy the ride until you reach your destination – and one day it will come. That dream job will hit us all eventually.
When being a university student it is easy to stick with the crowd. You get pretty comfortable being around other students, similar ages, interests, backgrounds. Well, in the big wide world of work, things differ. Work colleagues will often come from different social and geographic backgrounds, with varying lifestyles and upbringings. The workforce is likely to be a mixture of ages and genders. Use this to your advantage. Network out and learn from each other’s wisdom and experiences.
Ok, so there was three general top tips. But now comes the advice focusing on money – prepare yourself…here goes!
Plan a budget
Plan a budget
It can be exciting going from student life, living the student way – in other words, less luxurious – to the life of a graduated employee – earning a real income! What is important is how you manage that income and be sure not to spend it all unnecessarily and at once. The top tip here is to set a budget. Keep a certain amount aside for savings and allocate the rest of the income accordingly based on what you need. The 50/30/20 rule can apply; allocate 50% of your budget on the essential things, 30% on
non-essentials such as travel and events and 20% should go towards savings and investments. Sounds straight forward, right?
Welcome to the world of paying tax!
As a student you can escape paying tax since you either have no income or earn an income that doesn’t meet the taxpayer’s threshold. Unfortunately, as you earn more when you can work more when graduating, tax will start to be deducted. When starting your job, the Government should send you a tax code which your employer will use to work out how much tax you must pay.
Time to think about a pension already
You may have graduated and started your first ‘proper’ job, but it is never too early to start putting money aside for your pension. If you are eligible, you will automatically be enrolled onto the employer’s scheme, if of course it is offered in the workplace. There is the option to opt out but if you take this route then tax relief from the Government and your employers’ contribution will be lost. It is encouraged to start young, to fund a more enjoyable retirement.
I hope you take something useful from this and can enter the world of work with the advice I wish I had known when it was my time to start. Remember, the decisions you make now will impact your future life and the milestones you intend to achieve.