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Coping Well Under Pressure

InterviewsGraduate Jobs

You will have no doubt felt a considerable amount of pressure during interviews as part of the application process, but unfortunately you may be faced with a similar scenario once you start your graduate job. It seems that in this challenging economic climate, life for graduates has become tougher indeed.

You will have no doubt felt a considerable amount of pressure during interviews as part of the application process, but unfortunately you may be faced with a similar scenario once you start your graduate job. It seems that in this challenging economic climate, life for graduates has become tougher indeed.

A recent survey has revealed that graduates are feeling under considerable pressure and are working longer hours to prove their skills to employers. 14% of graduates are working more than 50 hours per week and the figure is higher in London (18%). It seems that the sectors pushing graduates most are law (71%), accountancy (54%) and marketing (53%). One major reason for embarking on a career is that you are genuinely interested in it, so perhaps longer working hours are inadvertently having an adverse effect on new graduates' learning experiences.

Indeed, it seems quite clear that graduates work longer hours to help their careers progress and they feel the need to justify their position in the company. Less than 50% of the graduates surveyed felt that they should be working longer hours, so it looks like the majority are not content with the current situation. The recession could have played a part in adding pressure to employers, but this is more likely to be attributable to the working culture of particular companies and industries. If you really enjoy the work, then you might not notice time passing by, but the pressure to stay late at work is definitely one area that impacts graduates considerably.

Although you may feel that you are being pushed during your job, there are some rewards to strive for. For example, these can be financial in terms of bonuses or days off in lieu. Still, sometimes the recognition from senior staff is more important, which confirms that you have completed good quality work or really added value to a project. This kind of appreciation helps to boost the morale of graduates and shows that companies are concerned with the future career progression of employees. Graduates are often not happy with their starting salary, but it is useful to look for the potential opportunities down the line and try to gain good experience. This may involve working under pressure at times, but it should definitely not be a way of life.

Overall, nowadays there is more pressure in graduate jobs, but the key is to cope well with the pressure and manage your own career effectively, by gaining advice from different sources. Although there is a difficult economic climate, do not be afraid to ask how to improve your situation in the workplace, since after all it is your future that really counts!

Arnab Datta

arnab datta grb author

Arnab has a BSc (Hons) degree in Economics and Economic History from the LSE and is a Chartered Accountant (ACA).

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