Don’t Fool Yourself! – The Overwhelming Reality of Transitioning to Work

Guest Blog: Alex Green

Alex Green is the Founder of a new start-up, which he began in August 2016 and is looking to develop and distribute his service across the UK in the coming months. His aim is to provide a platform to support young people through the transition from education to work so they can realise their potential and be successful, happy individuals.

In the last 5 years he has worked in London as a Digital Marketing Executive with experience working for agencies with clients such as Activision to Microsoft, helping them to market their products and services. He studied at Lancaster Management School and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors in Business Studies with specialisms in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He is now a registered student with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, studying a Diploma in Professional Marketing and continues to expand his expertise in this area. He is particularly interested in making a positive contribution to the education and charitable sectors.

“Students today have it tougher than previous generations”

(Matthew Waterton, The Guardian)


Alex Green1

If you’re someone who is soon to make the transition between full time education to full time work and independent life, this post is designed for YOU. You may be getting ready for your first week at University, preparing for the grind of your final year of studies or have just started the long, exhausting process of finding a graduate job. However, I want to provide you with some first-hand insight and advice into the realities of making the transition.

I hope you find it useful.

Back in 2012 I graduated with a 2:1 degree from Lancaster University. I was an enthusiastic individual who was hungry to learn and needed to prove myself. I wanted to chase the rat race and chose to pursue a career in Marketing in London. What I didn’t know was that getting noticed in London would be extremely hard. Before I landed my first real job at a digital marketing agency in Covent Garden I had to work in a coffee shop for 6 months, live in a hostel for several weeks and commute at 4am for months on end, whilst at the same time constantly falling flat on my face with job applications and coming short at assessment centres. Why? Because I wasn’t properly prepared.

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When I actually got the job I wanted, the realities were slightly different to what I expected and sadly I wasn’t prepared for this either. I had no clue about work politics, dress code, time management and organisation, which in turn made work life shockingly difficult. Getting up at 6am, having to meet the high expectations of my new boss and deal with the physical and mental strain of it all was a SHOCK. Over the last two years I continued working for a range of other companies and realised that I wasn’t the only young person who seemed to be struggling. We simply weren’t properly aware of the realities of living independently. Last year it got to the point where the stress became too much and I decided to resign from my job and do something that I was passionate about. After having some much needed time off, talking to many close friends, family members and advisors, I had a light bulb moment. I decided that I would be the person who would provide young transitional people with the right support and guidance so they could more quickly adapt to the current environment we live in. That’s when my idea was born.

My vision is to equip young people with the tools required to cope with LIFE AFTER EDUCATION. This may include support for mental health, self-help, career advice, personal development and maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Currently, students are only provided with guidance on how to be a successful student and some career advice is offered, but I offer the whole package for dealing with this transition in multiple areas of life – this is what makes my idea unique.


You could argue that parents are there to provide this guidance, however modern day life suggests that families are becoming more disparate, parents are unaware of the true realities of life for young people and cracks are showing in the appropriateness of the support provided. Life has moved on. I would consider that I have come from a secure family background and regardless of my parent’s best intentions, I still found this transition extremely difficult. I am not alone in this.

By creating a resource to better prepare young people for the transition between full time education to full time work life and living independently, they will be better informed to make smart decisions helping them work towards their dreams, be happy and lead a successful life.

As part of my research to find out exactly what support is needed, I have created a survey. If you are interested in my service and think it may be beneficial to you please take just 5 minutes to fill it out and make sure you leave some contact details so I can reach out to you in the future (this is optional). The results from the survey will be shared in my next blog so stay tuned…

For more information bout this topic, listen to my video blog below where I talk about the 10 things I wish I’d known more about before leaving University.

I am also happy to answer any questions you may have via email at


Making Money from your PhD Workshop

Ever considered being your own boss or making a living from your PhD? Some students want to – you could too.

There are a number of ways in which you could achieve this: by commercialising your research, or by using it as a springboard for consultancy work. This workshop will help you to think about and learn ways in which you could possibly earn money, or make a living from your PhD. You’ll benefit and receive feedback in a very supportive space.

This workshop is ideal for groups of people or individuals in the 2nd, 3rd or later years of their PhD, when scope is more clearly defined.

You will be able to leave the workshop with a basic business plan or at least a detailed structure of the elements you need to consider for your own business plan. Prior to the workshop, you should think about particular topics or areas connected to your PhD that you may want to focus on or exploit (including different routes you’d like to go down).

There will be guest speakers attending, who will be able to give you constructive feedback on your ideas on the day, and also signpost you to other areas of support on campus or in the wider business community.

The workshop is on the 21st of July, 1-4pm.

For further information and booking see the event here

StartUp Britain Bus in Lancaster 11th July

The StartUp Britain bus tour is coming to Lancaster on the 11th July. We would like to invite local entrepreneurs to join a roundtable discussion on the “health of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem”, so the challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs in North Lancashire. From skills shortages to leaving the EU, to emerging technologies, we would to hear what is on the mind of entrepreneurs in our region.  If you would like to take part in this conversation which will take place on the iconic 1966 Routemaster bus then please contact us. The discussion will take place between 3-4pm.

5 Ways Innovation Will Change Business in the Next 5 Years

The changing landscape of business: ways you can adapt and prepare


In this age of rapid technological advancement and constant change, entrepreneurs should be ready and able to adapt in order to keep their businesses relevant and profitable.

Rhett Power believes a ‘smart’ entrepreneur should be already anticipating the innovation which will impact upon the running of their business over the next 5 years. Read his top tips here.

Thrive on Uncertainty!

mind tools

In uncertain times, it’s tempting for teams, leaders and entrepreneurs to put risky decisions on hold and seek the safe option. But time never stands still, and neither should we. In a recent article the website Mind talks about  How to Communicate Organizational Uncertainty, presenting a tried and tested strategy for helping people embrace uncertainty and pull forward together, while others just tread water.

The article cites Clampitt, DeKoch and Cashman who identify five great classifications for communication strategies that organizations typically use; ‘Withold and uphold’, ‘spray and pray’, ‘tell and sell’, ‘underscore and explore’ and ‘identify and reply’. Do you recognise any of these in your environment. How effective are they and what might work better?

The article goes on to explore how you can develop the resilience you need to thrive when things are changing fast; In a linked article on Mintzberg’s Organizational
, Mind Tools look at how organizations can be designed to
succeed in uncertain environments.

If you’ve got ten minutes, its well worth a look because if you’re developing a new project, working on a business idea or simply tackling a challenge in your team or organisation, uncertainty goes with the territory. Nothing new was created without people getting excited and daring to try something new.

You will be able to reflect on how you can build a positive culture of communication, one that turns uncertainty into a driver for success.