Dublin: 9 °C Monday 26 February, 2024
dear fifi

Dear Fifi: How do I get my arse in gear after college?

Dear Fifi! Dear Fifi! Dear Fifi!


The most important advice I can give for the impending SNOWMAGEDDON about to hit Ireland is to hoard some bread. If social media has taught us anything as a people, it’s that bread-hoarding is key to surviving a major weather event. 

Send me your problems – big, small, in between – and any hot tips you have on which supermarkets aren’t sold out of precious, precious sliced pan yet.


Dear Fifi,

I’m an unemployed recent college graduate in my mid-20′s. I live in a nice city with comfortable life but I have no idea what to do next and I’ve no motivation to figure out my next step. I’ve always worked since I was a teenager but now I can’t shake the feeling I’m too incompetent for a real job. If my college grades were better it would help but they aren’t. Any tips?

I can tell you one thing with certainty: you are absolutely not too incompetent for a “real” job, by which I’m guessing you mean a 9 to 5 office gig.

Once you get into the workforce proper, you’ll realise no one really knows what they’re doing. Not really. To varying degrees, everyone out there is winging it, at least some of the time. No one knows it all. In real life there are no black and white, right or wrong answers. Most people are muddling along, trying to make the best decisions they can day to day.

You’ve got a degree and lots of skills from working since you were a teenager. Don’t stress about your grades. They are what they are. Your attitude is much more important.

Besides that, you’ll be trained – or in the right job, you will be. Considering you’ve just finished college, you’ll more than likely be coming in at the bottom rung and decent employers will appreciate the fact that you’re there to learn and be helped along in developing professionally by them.

The only thing you have to do is show up and try hard. Be sound, try not to bitch if humanly possible, strive to be on time, learn from your mistakes, and adopt the general air of giving a shit about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. If you can do these things consistently, you’ll be doing better than about 50% of people employed in Ireland today. I shit you not.

Start applying for jobs and don’t half-ass it. Tailor each cover letter to the job and write a really good CV. Even if you’re not sure you want a role, attend the interview because they’re valuable practice. Look up the STAR interview response technique and prepare a question for the end of the interview.

You’ll figure it out. Or – more likely – you’ll discover no one else really has it figured out either. Welcome to the club!


Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

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