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8 Common Challenges of a Graduate Trainee

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8 Common Challenges of a Graduate Trainee

Becoming a graduate trainee has a lot of challenges but oftentimes we are clouded by the because thought of become graduates. This reminds me of my final year in the University “I can’t wait to become a graduate”. This became an anthem for many of us, a few days to the end of our degree examinations. Well, it’s normal to feel this way after years of being a student with  nerve-racking workload.

The thought of graduation can be very exciting and at the same time very overwhelming, but the truth remains that transitioning from being a student to being a graduate is quite challenging. The experience is not as fun and beautiful as the mental pictures we create.

I’m not going to tell you that life after graduation is sweet, No. Transitioning from a student’s life into the career world can be very frustrating, draining and depressing. Things are not going to come easy except you have a strong network. In fact, getting that dream job is not guaranteed because the competition is very high.

After graduation comes real life, only the strong and highly connected get the dream jobs they desire effortlessly, while others continue to struggle. Sometimes, even the smartest and brightest students find this experience very perplexing but regardless, with vital information such as this, you’ll have an idea of what to expect and how to go about handling the challenges.


Below are some of the challenges you may encounter as a new graduate as you journey into the corporate world.

1. Changes in Lifestyle

Life as a student is a different ball game from that of a graduate. For many, graduation is a time to drop certain students’ lifestyles which may include constant partying, unnecessary spendings and regular demands from guardians.

For others, life after graduation is a time for compulsory relocation back to parents’ houses and from personal findings, not too many graduates fancy the idea of going back home due to unnecessary pressure and expectations from friends and family.

Sometimes, jobs may require one to relocate and many times, such opportunities are turned down due to fear of adaptation. In other words, this challenge requires one’s preparedness to adapt to every form of change.

2. Financial Pressure

Financial stress

As a student, enjoy the financial privileges while it lasts because graduation brings an end to this. Not all are lucky to keep getting an allowance after graduation.

For most people, the end of studentship is the beginning of financial pressure. At this point some parents withdraw shouldering all responsibilities, for those with younger siblings, demands start to roll in, regardless of whether a job has been secured. This is why most graduates prefer to stay far away from home.

This challenge can be very depressing especially if a job is not forthcoming. This is a major challenge that has pushed graduates into heinous crimes. When faced with this pressure, look for ways of making a passive income until your dream job is secured. There is dignity in labour, no matter how little it is.

3. Career Pressure

It is normal to have a mental picture of a dream job even before graduation. We all desire to build a career inline with our course of study. Truth be told, most times, it doesn’t turn out the way we envisaged.

Getting your dream job may not be so easy. In fact, it is common to take up the first job outside one’s course of study. Most graduates are after getting a job to pay their bills whether or not it’s in line with their career plans. Saying it is a way of having work experience is not out of place but unfortunately, most graduates miss it from this stage, the moment they get too comfortable in the wrong jobs.

It is nice to explore and be versatile in experience but be wise enough not to trade your happiness and fulfilment in a career by accepting any available job just to be off the market.

Don’t build a career in a field you’re not comfortable with, due to pressure. I would have taken up uncountable marketing jobs due to pressure but I know I can never be happy and comfortable doing such jobs. It’s normal to say”why not manage it for the meantime”. Well, I don’t want to manage and probably get too comfortable in it.

Landing your dream job may take time but then, it’s worth the wait.

4. Little or No Experience

Business owners are no longer interested in the certificates and qualifications. The question on their lip is”what can you offer”, “do you have an experience?”

They don’t want to know if you just graduated and as such may not have ample experience. This issue has left many graduates unemployed for many years while those with the required experience keep getting the jobs.

You may ask, “how do they expect me to get the required experience while in school?”Well, this how, in as much as the condition in this part of the world doesn’t make working and schooling favourable unlike those in foreign countries, with determination and proper planning, you can combine working and schooling, successfully. It can be an after- school job

You can get involved in volunteering and above all, consider internships. These are the possible ways to get experiences that will help you stand out in the competitive market.

5. Unrealistic Expectations

Graduating and having a certificate is good but is not an automatic ticket to success. Most people have this mindset of “once I’m done with school, I’ll get a good job immediately and after two years of working, I will build a mansion and buy the latest car of my choice” Wow! Isn’t that a beautiful dream?

Well, being optimistic is a good virtue but as a realist I tell you, it takes a special grace and very strong connection for that to happen.

Setting unrealistic goals and having too many expectations may just put you in unnecessary pressure. Bearing in my mind that building a career and attaining success is a gradual process, will save you lots of stress, disappointments and depression.

6. Indecision

Lack of direction and not knowing exactly what to do after graduation is a big challenge faced by lots of graduates. Not too many people would want to work immediately after graduation. For some, they may want to further their studies and acquire higher qualifications, others may want to gain a little work experience before deciding to further their studies while there are individuals that may decide to combine both.

I won’t fail to point out that there are people who may wish to travel out after graduation, and lots more. This challenge varies for individuals and there is no particular solution to this because we all have our lives to live.

Timely planning and sticking to a goal may just help in saving you the stress of indecision.

7. Lack of Mentorship

No matter how educated you are, there are people who are more experienced and knowledgeable than you are. The mistakes many graduates make is thinking they know it all on getting that certificate, forgetting that school will not teach you exactly what goes on in the labour market.

You may just be needing the counselling, advice and orientation of that person that has spent years in the labour force to know the pros and cons of the labour market.

Get a more experienced person to guide you through your job search. Don’t assume you know when you don’t. Things are changing on a daily basis and you can’t possibly rely on what you think you know if you must scale through.

8. Work-Life Balance

Fun time

Life after graduation is more challenging due to change in lifestyle and responsibilities. Trying to balance work with having a normal life can be challenging and stressful for some people.

It can be difficult to work for long hours throughout the week and still find time to hang out with friends during weekends.

It takes good time management skill and determination to have a good work-life balance.


Being a graduate can be very exciting but always remember that life after school is not so exciting. It is filled with challenges. Always bear this in mind and prepare to face the challenges squarely. These and more, are the challenges faced by graduate trainees.

Have you encountered some of these challenges as a graduate?

For me, yes, I have and reading articles like this helped me massively.

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