Written by Mark Yates, Careers Advisor
There’s a saying that goes ‘change is constant’. Looking back over the last 6 months, you’d have to agree. Is there any part of life that hasn’t had some change? Even in more ‘normal’ times, change happens regularly as people move through their education, get part time or full time work, move into post graduate study, move house/location and start or finish relationships.
Change can seem unsettling and stimulating, exciting and nerve wrecking all at the same time. So what tips and tricks can we as the WUC careers service provide to help you manage this change, as you move into the new surroundings of new qualifications and possibly a new part of the country/region?
Recognise what you’ve achieved so far...
Remember that you have coped with change before – even if some of these changes are a long time ago, starting primary school, moving onto secondary school, moving from year 11 to 6th form or college, starting new jobs.
How have you adapted to new jobs, either full time or part time? Each job will have given you a real sense of change, whether its been your first job or tenth!
Write down how you’ve coped with these changes, what skills have you demonstrated? How did each change ‘feel’?
How did you cope with the ‘imposter syndrome’ feeling? Everyone gets this to an extent in any new situation – even if its mingled in with feeling excited, uncertain and nervous at the same time!
Its important to take time to reflect at the end of each day/week, what’s gone well? What’s not gone well? Anything left unresolved that needs answering/addressing?
Based on the above, some people like making lists, to write these things down or to create a ‘to do’ list to help sort out any concerns. So if you’ve got a concern about something, what could you do to solve it? For instance, if you are concerned about getting support over an issue, think through who you could ask or where on moodle to look to find the right student support staff.
Planning ahead is an important element in managing new experiences. By thinking through what lies ahead and breaking it down into manageable ‘chunks’, will really help. This can include thinking through how you think new situations might work out, e.g. the end of semester ‘dash’ to get assignments done, finding an internship for the summer etc. Visualising how you will manage these challenges will help you address any concerns.
Remember why you’re undertaking this course – again some people find it useful to write these reasons down.
Its great to take the approach of saying ‘yes’ to new opportunities/experiences, what can you say yes to over the next week, month, semester, year? This stretching of your comfort zone will do wonders for your wellbeing as you develop more skills and experience. It will also boost your confidence and CV no end!
The careers service has a skills audit on moodle, why not have a go at it? This will give you a picture of how you cope with a variety of situations, you can redo it regularly.
What else can you think of that would help?
We hope these tips are work for you. These tips will hopefully help you manage your wellbeing and help you develop your career planning. How could these tips help with your career planning? By managing and developing how you cope with change, you can really enhance how you will manage the start of your career after Writtle. Why start now? Well, the more your skills, confidence and willingness to ‘give things a go’ have developed, the more you will be able to demonstrate to an employer that you have potential. And if you want to be self employed? Being able to cope with the unexpected, manage change, ‘survive and thrive’ whilst being self employed is something you need to develop over time – its best not left until the end of your course!
And if you want to talk through any of these tips, or issues around managing your wellbeing, there are staff at WUC who would be happy to do this with you!