Are you ready for life after university?


February 11, 2019 / Networking / Greg Atkinson

With the end of the academic year fast approaching, many students will be asking themselves ‘what next?’. And if you’re not asking, you can be sure your family, peers, lecturers, potential employers, and just about every second person you speak to wants to know. What career path will you take? How will you afford rent? Have you worked out your tax obligations? Are you going to travel? Planning a family? In short, are you ready to leave your student days behind and start adulting.

It’s all very nerve-wracking. And in many ways – unfair. Your university does its best to educate you. Your family and friends do their best to make you a decent person. But only life itself will give you the experience you need to, well…cope with life. So, how can you be expected to plan for the future, when you don’t have the foggiest idea what it holds?

Here’s a secret very few people know: You don’t have to have your life planned out. In fact, this sort of rigidity pretty much guarantees unhappiness. Life is notorious for throwing curve balls. Instead, make yourself future-ready – flexible, valuable, and constantly learning. This way, you’ll be ready to seize any and all opportunities life presents you. Including the opportunities to make that magic $105 000 that ensures financial security. All it takes is 3 things:

1) Networks

life after university

So, what’s next?

If you think this is a dirty word consigned to stuffy cocktail evenings, you’ve been misled. Networking is not about schmoozing people you can’t stand in the hopes they’ll be useful to you one day. You already have vast networks of people you care about. Your family, friends, peers and their family and friends etc. make up your immediate and extended networks. And as you make your way through the world, you’ll meet lots of lovely, fascinating people you can add to them. Because a ‘network’ is just a group of people who support you, and vice versa. It’s someone whose couch you can crash on when you’re interviewing in a new city. Or who throws in a good word for you with a potential employer. Or it’s the potential employer.

The people around you are valuable connections. And it’s important to keep these connections through the years, and make new ones. Both your personal and professional life literally depend on this. That’s why an app like Kalido is so useful. It lets you stay connected with the people in your life, in a convenient and appropriate forum. Kalido lets you showcase yourself authentically, without requiring sensitive data. Your skills, interests, hobbies, and goals all combine to make you uniquely you. And this information helps your networks understand how they can help. Instead of sharing a pic of your cappuccino, you can share what you want in a future employer. Or that you’re looking for investors for your startup. Or that you have no idea what career path you should take, and would welcome advice.

Kalido lets you keep your entire network in one place. And helps you constantly expand it by giving you access to your contacts’ contacts, and suggesting interesting new people. This means you’ll always have people around who can help you, in thousands of unexpected ways. You’ll need this support throughout your life, no matter what you plan to do.

2) Skills

skills needed after university

The skills you have and need go way beyond those you are studying.

Contrary to what your university tells you, ‘studied law’ is not a skill. ‘Able to offer legal advice in an emotionally supportive way’ is. In the real world, there is a big difference between being theoretically qualified, and actually being able to do something. And the real world is also constantly changing. Which means the skills it requires are constantly changing too.

The World Economic Forum’s report on The Future of Jobs is very clear on what will and won’t be considered skills in the future. For example, physical strength will no longer be sought after as AI takes over manual tasks. Quality control and research will also be automated. In fact, 50% of current work activities can be automated with technology available right now. And in 6 out of 10 occupations, at least 30% of activities are automatable. So, if you’re practicing law the way it’s always been practiced, think about how your job must change when a robot does more research than you in half the time? What will you do when an app allows clients to input information and get a perfectly drafted contract in a matter of minutes?

What you’ll be doing is taking the robot’s research and delivering it to the client in a comforting and human way. Soft skills like creative thinking, emotional intelligence, communication, and people management will be the most sought after skills in the future. AI can replace many human functions, but it can never replace human connections. Which is why your technical qualifications need to be complemented by future-ready skills. And these skills all have something to do with people. That’s another reason why you need your networks. They’ll keep your people-skills sharp. And that’s the one qualification that will never become obsolete.

3) Opportunities

opportunities after university

Opportunities are around every corner, but to capitalise on them you need to see them.

At Kalido, we believe opportunities lie around every corner. To work on exciting new projects. To meet interesting new people. To learn valuable new skills. But you need a way to see these opportunities, so you can seize them. How can you know that your classmates are planning a startup, and you’d be the perfect partner? How do you get someone you admire to mentor you when you don’t know them personally? And how do you know which company is the right one for you when both are offering great contracts?

The answer is: Let Kalido help you. Kalido makes all the opportunities available to you transparent. Once you’ve told it who you are and who you’re looking for, its super smart algorithms get to work. You’ll be automatically matched with your classmates, because you’ll all have specified that you’re interested in ‘startups’. You’ll see that your neighbour plays squash with your dream mentor, so you can ask them for an introduction. And you’ll be able to join the network for both companies and chat to current employees to get an idea of the vibe there.

Life is a beautiful hodgepodge of planning and chance. You’ll consciously take some paths. And you’ll wander down others because they look pretty. You may keep travelling in the same direction. Or change direction several times. And that’s all ok. Because you should be adaptable. There are new adventures around every turn. And you don’t have to plan which one to go on in advance. In fact, it’s almost impossible to do so. You just have to go.

Networks. Skills. And opportunities. The 3 things that ensure success in life. No matter what life has in store for you. But if you boil them down, they really only amount to one thing: people. The people around you are what matters most. And that’s why Kalido helps you connect with people. So, you’re ready for life.