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Tarnjeet Takes on Gradulthood

Best piece of advice for a Grad: 

Always ask for feedback if you are unsuccessful in a role you were really interested in/within a company you really wanted to work for.

I asked for feedback from a recent job I was unsuccessful in, where I was able to have a chat on Zoom with the CEO of the company. Now the CEO has essentially become my mentor and is helping me with my professional development.

Granted, not everyone will be this nice, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for guidance on how you can develop experience in areas you may be lacking. 

Your Grad Journey in 3 words:

Deflating, a revelation, optimistic.

Dream Workplace: 

As a live sound engineer, I have always wanted to engineer at Madison Square Garden in New York as well as travel to lots of different places and venues. 

Fave quote: 

“It’s already within you to be great. Accept it in your mind and move into that state”. 


2 truths, 1 lie:

1. I studied abroad in America.

2. I hate Italian food. 

3. I play rugby.  

Biggest Inspiration: 

TLC – they are the reason I started listening to music so much and I ended up in the career path I took. I am inspired by their work ethic and dedication to developing as a band, considering they had many difficulties along their journey.

I really appreciate the creativity they had taken with their messages revolving around feminism, safe sex, their sound with each album, fashion and choreography. It has pushed me to take risks, push past barriers as a South-Asian, female sound engineer as well as develop the confidence to speak my mind.

As a graduate who has not been able to go into the career I have been working towards for the majority of my life, they have inspired me to make the most of any opportunity that has come my way in other areas and roles in the music industry. 

Thank you Tarnjeet!

Lessons Learnt From Gradulthood: @ironic_jess

What’ve you been up to since graduating?
As this blog goes out, I have officially landed a grad job so I’ll be getting my teeth stuck into that this week!

At the time of this interview, I was spending lockdown taking up a few hobbies, up-skilling and volunteering whilst applying for jobs in social media, marketing and PR.

As a 1st class English Language & Linguistics grad, turned blogger & influencer, I was eager to pursue a career in social. It’s crazy because it was never something I saw myself doing when I was younger.

Best and worst things about post-uni life:
Post-uni life is difficult enough as it is without graduating into a pandemic. So of course, the worst thing this year is the uncertainty. I had so many plans after my degree that have had to be put on hold; travelling, internships and concerts to name a few.

I think graduation brings around a lack of direction for the first time which can be really scary, no one tells you how to navigate your next steps and you have so many options.

I’ve found this time really useful to sit back and evaluate what my next steps should be but it’s definitely been hard on my confidence and self-esteem.

Focussing on the positives, the best thing would be finally having the time to spend on my hobbies and interests. I hadn’t taken a gap year before university and so I’ve never had the chance to really spend time on myself.

Here’s to seeing 2020 as the opportunity to take life a little slower and discover yourself. 

Do you have a fave quote or someone who inspires you?
My go-to quote is

Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

Theodore Roosevelt

As someone who spends a lot of time on social media, comparison comes as part of the package and I more often than not find myself feeling inferior to the picture perfect lives we see online.

Saying that, I have tailored my social to follow accounts who often show not only the happy parts but sometimes the not so happy parts of their lives and openly discuss the impact social media has had on them.

The below accounts have really helped me cultivate a healthier mind-set toward social…

My to follow list:

@foreverfi_

@themeganedit

@staceysolomon

@whatnownat

and of course, @gradulthood.

I’ve found that graduate accounts like Gradulthood are a lifesaver for comparison because they remind me that each and every grad is on their own path…

Although your dream job might not have shown up yet, it doesn’t mean it never will.


Has there been a time in your life where things didn’t go as planned but helped shape you in the long run?
2020 did not go the way that I had planned but it’s taught me so much about appreciating what is right in front of me.

I’ve learnt to appreciate having the time to do what I enjoy, spending more time with my family and how adaptable I am. I think coming out on the other side of this pandemic I will be so aware of how quickly things can change and why it’s much more sustainable to chase happiness in the small things than the big successes. 

Now for the million-dollar question…

One piece of advice for your former self about to graduate?
If I could go back to this time last year and give myself some advice I would say to have more faith in yourself!

You will do better than you could have ever imagined and you will learn how strong and capable you truly are.

Whatever is meant to happen will happen and you cannot control anything but your response to the situation.

Thank you Jess!

See more of Jess’s world here: @ironic_jess

From cursing calendars to gratitude journals: we went in search of the best uplifting gifts for grads

Listen, if this year has made you want to give up on Christmas, we feel your pain.

The grads of gradulthood got together and came up with a list of our favourite independent brands to help turn your year around.

Inspire Now Daily Journal

The perfect journal doesn’t exii…

This journal is EVERYTHING. It has become our bible throughout 2020.

Inspire Now Daily have thought of everything with this book – the moment you open up, you’ll be inspired to plan your whole entire life.

Each page is truly a breath of fresh air; expect inspiring quotes, manageable planning sections and designated spaces to write your gratitudes.

If you do nothing else to prepare for 2021, get this journal!

Use promo code GRADULTHOOD10 to shave off 10% sitewide.

Hurry: offer ends New Years Eve.

Banter Gifts

There’s nothing that sums up 2020 like this straight talking range.

As a community of gradults, we love products that keep it real in the challenging period of our twenties. Banter Gifts have the ultimate collection of light-hearted staples like this boss mug and calendar. Would absolutely recommend to fellow grads, students and twenty-somethings.

Happy News

Moving on to Happy News. If you don’t know, get to know.

The Happy Newspaper is the one and only ray of sunshine keeping us afloat during 2020. The newspaper brings a refreshing twist on what we typically know as ‘news’, reporting on positive changes and truly inspiring people.

I think we could all do with a regular dose of happy news in our life.

200 Degrees Coffee

Last but not least, 200 degrees Coffee.

Looking for a gift for your coffee queens but getting lost in the world of french presses, grinders, frothers and brewing systems? We don’t blame you. 200 Degrees Christmas range is the perfect gift selection for the coffee people on your list. From stocking fillers and Secret Santas to serious homebrew coffee stuff.

If you’re buying for a graduate, what better way to celebrate their degree with a whole 200 degrees of fiery coffee.

We hope this gift guide has given you a much needed injection of ‘treat yourself’ as we round up a crazy year.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for a goldmine of grad essentials.

Ditching Graduation Blues to Host a Podcast

In the last few months, Rufaro Mazarura has graduated from the University of Surrey, launched the Class of 2020 podcast and landed a national radio feature. As a graduate guru, we had some burning questions…

What graduation advice would you give to your former self? 

I think that the biggest piece of advice that I would give to my former self, and to be honest, my current self, would be to try and worry less about the future.

It’s great to have a plan of what you want your life to be like and to be ambitiously striving towards that plan.

However, it’s really easy to get so caught up in planning for and worrying about the future that you don’t appreciate the beauty, chaos and wonder of right now.

I would tell my former self to really be intentional about finding balance between working towards the future and enjoying each day and week in my life.

Do you have a fave quote or someone who inspires you?:

I watched A LOT of online commencement speeches this summer filled with wisdom and great quotes to live by, but one of my favourite speeches was that which Steve Jobs did in X about how often, it is random unexpected events in your life – the dots – that shape the person you grow up to become.

A part of the speech that has stayed with me the longest and feels particularly relevant to 2020 Grads is when he talked about the unexpected series of events, both positive and negative that led to him creating the first Mac and said that:

“It was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later.

Ever since first listening to that speech, I’ve begun to look back on my life and trace the small unexpected moments that have led me to become the person I am today.

It’s also helped me to look at the small recent events that have happened in my life and imagine all of the exciting and unexpected ways they could come to shape my future self which, in a year as unexpected as 2020, has really helped me shift my perspective on life in a positive way.

“My quarantine side hustle has opened up a really exciting range of job opportunities.”

How has covid affected your career plans?: 

I had originally planned to get into TV production and spend the Easter doing work experience and building up my CV, but when we went into lockdown pretty much everything ground to a halt.

My coping method for feeling like I have control over my life when things feel uncertain is to go into hyper planning mode and plan some sort of creative project.

So I decided to channel my restlessness into audio storytelling.

I created a 9 part podcast series about studying, graduating and coming of age called Class of 2020 and the podcast led to so many exciting opportunities including being featured on BBC Radio 4 and securing a bunch of freelance opportunities to the point where podcasting, my quarantine side hustle, has opened up a really exciting range of job opportunities.

So while it’s put my original career plans on pause, it’s created a whole new career path to explore and taught me that sometimes the most exciting opportunities come from some of the most unexpected things.

Check out the Class of 2020 podcast and follow gradulthood for a goldmine of grad essentials.

Introducing Multi-Hyphen Girl Boss Jess Bacon

We find out what it’s like to be a freelance writer, blogger, influencer and podcaster, and what advice this career-boss has for newly grads.

What was your dream job when you were younger?

For as long as I can remember I wanted to do something creative. I think originally I wanted to be a singer (like Hilary Duff) and then a songwriter – l was a big Tay Tay fan and played the guitar and everything! Then I wanted to be an actor, and then I landed on being a writer – films & books. Basically anything to let myself be as creative as possible! 

What do you do now?

I now work in marketing for a publisher (I love books), as a freelance writer, blogger, influencer and podcaster. A lot of what I do now, I couldn’t have even imagined as a child. Equally, I do a lot of different things as I’m very creative and I need to find outlets for that. 

Also, I have a TV show in development, I’ve written my first feature film and I’m working on my first book proposal so not too far off the dream… I hope. 

Best and worst things about post-uni life:

The worst thing about life after Uni is not seeing your friends all the time. Not being able to pop down the road to my besties for a mug of gin and some fajitas is still heart-breaking to me. You also lose so much freedom after Uni! And the best thing about post-Uni life is definitely being paid to work, as financial anxiety is tough at uni. 

Do you have a fave quote or someone who inspires you?

I love motivational quotes, my current favourite is: ‘Life is not about who you once were, it’s about who you are now and who you have the potential to be’. As I think life is about evolving and becoming new versions of yourself, we have to learn, grow and develop from our mistakes. 

“Life is not about who you once were, it’s about who you are now and who you have the potential to be”

A quote I also live by is ‘A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ It helps me feel less overwhelmed by whatever I’m setting out to do next. 

So many people inspire me such as Emma Thompson, Michelle Obama, Bryony Gordon, Malala Yousafzai, but especially my Mum and Dad. 

Has there been a time in your life where things didn’t go as planned but helped shape you in the long run?

So many times! I think sometimes the best things happen out of unexpected things, even if the unexpected event is really awful, it will lead you to a new path and new exciting opportunities. 

How has Covid affected your career?

It has probably helped my career. I’ve kept my 9-5 throughout the pandemic, which has been incredible in the circumstances. But the extra time working from home has allowed me more time to work on my own projects without the distractions of going out, commuting, or generally being tired from the bustle of day to day life. 

I’ve been able to grow my instagram following and begin working as a content creator, as well as launch my own podcast and write more on my blog and for other publications. 

One piece of advice for your former self about to graduate?

Enjoy having some time out of work and out of education, there’s no need to panic or rush into a career. Things always work out how they’re meant to and worrying only means you suffer twice.

Want to see more? You can find Jess on the following platforms:

Website: www.jessicakatie.com

Instagram | Twitter

Beauty Bay’s Influencer Marketing Assistant answers our questions

What was your dream job when you were younger?

I never knew what I wanted to do when I was younger, I always found myself wanting to do different things it varied from wanting to be a Hairdresser  to a Doctor, it was only as I got older I realised I was more creative and wanted to do this as a career in future.

What do you do now?

I have just graduated from university and have recently started my dream job at Beauty Bay as an Influencer Marketing Assistant.

Best and worst things about post-uni life:

No one prepares you for the difficulty of post university life, for the first time you have no direction about what’s next and their is a lack of support with how to navigate finding jobs is heightened in a pandemic!

I think the best thing you can do is to stay positive and it will work out, even when you least expect it too.

The best thing about post university life is you have worked so hard and now you have the opportunity to choose what you would like to do as there is so much variety out there. There is no rush as everyone’s on their own path.

Do you have a fave quote?

My favourite quote is: 

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

~ Walt Disney

Has there been a time in your life where things didn’t go as planned but helped shape you in the long run?

Yes! I decided to take a gap year to resit my A Levels and if I hadn’t have done this I wouldn’t have gone to London College of Fashion as I didn’t know about the university and the variety of courses they offered. If I hadn’t have taken a gap year would have studied Business Management and I wouldn’t have been where I am today.

How has covid affected your career?

Initially yes, it’s been really draining and difficult to find entry level jobs and the level of competition is crazy! I’ve been lucky  my hard work finally paid off as I have just started my dream job at Beauty Bay as an Influencer Marketing Assistant, it took me three months after graduating to find a job! My advice is don’t give up it will happen, even when you are about to give up.

One piece of advice for your former self about to graduate?

Don’t worry! Everything works out for a reason and if it didn’t it wasn’t meant to be. 

From Redundancy, to Living the Dream Abroad

Naledi Molewa, fellow Typo ambassador and Interior Architecture student, has revealed her words of wisdom when it comes to following your dreams in the midst of a pandemic.

How has covid affected your career plans?

Before the pandemic I used to work at a design company- which was a curated space for local design and architecture (@iconomy check them out on IG) unfortunately due the hard long lockdown in South Africa our company was forced to close one of the branches which resulted in me loosing my job. However that propelled me to actively go after my own passions and dreams which were to study abroad. Studying abroad has always been a plan of mine and despite all adversities this year bought I achieved my dreams and goals and if anything I’m grateful for this year honestly, and just through observation I realised that 2020 became a “woman year” because so many woman in my space launched their own online brands and businesses. I love too see that really.

What career advice would you give to your former self ? 

“Don’t panic you’re doing just fine” haha I actually used have a lot of anxiety attacks whilst I studied BA law at a local university back home – I should’ve taken that as sign that I wasn’t on my path and I was just subjected to societal pressure.

Do you have a favourite quote or someone who inspires you?

Well funny enough this is my own formulated quote that was inspired by Abraham Hicks who always talks about us being unconditional beings .  “Reality is only conditional however your dreams are unconditional “ which I believe is very true the only thing that’s constant in reality is change all we do is adapt , your dreams however rarely change they just expand. And someone who inspires me is my older sister Daphney she also went after her own dream when my mother couldn’t aid her financially. She’s now works for a leading science research company in SA and I can say is her determination and perseverance is just celestial . She’s the epitome of independence for me and I try to channel her strength even though I’m such a baby sometimes.

Has there been a time in your life where things didn’t go as planned but helped shape you in the long run?

Absolutely, too many to mention or even narrow it to one but to sum it all up I wouldn’t change anything in how my life has unfolded even in the contrast of what I wanted. The more I disliked something the more I knew exactly what it is I wanted , so I appreciate the contrast because it reinforces what  I want but I try not to dwell in that negative space too. 

Thank you Naledi!

Check out Naledi on the gram: @naledimolewa and her fashion blog: @eco_fashionur

Graduated in 2020, Now What?

Navigating the post-uni wasteland is challenging enough. But it’s even harder to be in the unemployed arena during 2020.

Since the sh*t storm of 2020, we’re having to find creative ways to shoot our shot. Luckily for us Gen Z galdem, making online thirst traps is our speciality.

From making a plan of action, to creating the ultimate thirst trap, we are going to show you exactly how to Secure. The. Bag.

Scroll for the gradulthood checklist:

Enough to get you started?

If not, check out Applying For A Job That Doesn’t Exist.

Applying For A Job That Doesn’t Exist

How many times have you found your absolute dream company to work for, only to discover they’re not hiring? Don’t worry sis, we’ve all been there.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could apply for your dream job, even if it’s not advertised? Well, it turns out you can.

Welcome to the invisible job market!

Many businesses are trying to cut down costs, particularly in the current economic climate, which may include reducing their recruitment budget. This means not all companies are publicly advertising every job opportunity. These will likely be the small and medium-sized businesses. So if your dream employer happens to be a smaller company, there could be a job role waiting for you that isn’t advertised!

You need to be the job advert they haven’t put out yet.

Although it may seem daunting, reaching out for a job role which doesn’t strictly exist can demonstrate your confidence and ability to be proactive. You never know, you could be the missing piece in a business that they didn’t know they needed!

Think about it. The worst that can happen is you get a no (but we’re so used to rejections now, what’s another one?!) and the best-case scenario is that you get hired – seems worth a try, right?

Here are a few steps to get you started;

  1. RESEARCH:

We all have that one friend that has FBI-level skills in getting intel. If this is you, perfect! If not, then become them (or ask them for tips!).

You need to get digging on your dream companies; anything that you find could influence and improve your application.

Start out by finding their website or blog and get to know them; read their recent articles, subscribe to their newsletter and get clued up on relevant press-releases which mention them.

You’re looking for indications that the company has the capacity to expand; these can include:

  • Recently receiving funding
  • Advertising jobs in other departments
  • A growing social media presence
  • Emerging departments
  • Recent positive articles about their work

During your research, remember to read between the lines. If there’s a clear gap in their business which you think you can fill, jump on it!

You can use what you find to add depth to your application; it will prove why they need you and will impress them that you’ve really put work into researching their company.

2. NETWORKING:

Unfortunately, as you may have already found out, sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know when it comes to getting a job.

This means getting in touch with that girl from Uni who now has absolute job goals, it’s talking to your second cousin who runs a recruitment firm, and it’s buttering up your work experience employer who has contacts in the industry.

Don’t be afraid of getting in touch with people you haven’t spoken to in years. If you show them respect and demonstrate a strong interest in their industry, they should be more than happy to help you out! Remember, they probably did the same thing when they first started out.

Shoot your shot, corporate style.

3. LINKEDIN:

You might think of LinkedIn as just a digital extension of your CV. But it’s so much more than that.

It’s a place where your choice of keywords can get you to the top of employer’s search results. It’s a chance to grab recruiters with a bold summary at the top of your profile. It’s a job opportunity waiting to happen.

Remember, this is your platform to advertise yourself to employers – so make the most of it, you never know which recruiters are currently looking at your profile!

4. BE UNFORGETTABLE:

If you thought your CV and cover letter were important when applying for an advertised role, they’re 10x more vital when the job doesn’t exist yet!

You want to grab your future employer’s attention straight away, and prove to them why you’ll be an asset to their company. Forget generic enquiry emails, you want a bold subject that will stand out in an employer’s inbox.

Think outside the box; send a letter tailor-made to the company, deliver your portfolio in person and consider a unique format for your CV {see examples here}

This is your opportunity to stand out a mile from your competitors, so grab it and make a custom-fit application for that custom-fit job.

You’ve got this!

Twenty-something Email Sign-offs Every Twenty-something Should Know About

Do you remember the first time you wrote a formal email? That painstakingly long process of overthinking every word you write, and praying it doesn’t come across in the wrong way, only to get to the end and have absolutely no idea how to sign it off?! Who knew there were enough words and phrases to sign off an email that they could fill their own dictionary, not to mention the number or ways they could be used!

There are some cool, calm and confident people out there that never have to think twice about pressing send on their emails, and seem to get it right every time (If this is you, then there’s no need to read on – but could you share your secrets on how you’ve got your life together? Please.). For the rest of us, who still can’t write a professional email to save our lives, here’s a list of all the words and phrases you could ever need to close an email – and when to use them.

So go on, have a little scroll and open your eyes to the world of professional email sign-offs:

So there we have it, twenty-something email sign-offs every twenty-something needs to know about! Screenshot these images and save them to a folder in your phone, so they’re readily available for your next email.

You’ll never have to think twice about pressing send again.