Graduating is such a brilliant achievement, it’s a drawn out process that really makes you feel like you’ve landed on the moon, the ceremony, the constant congratulations, and the proud parents.
Until you land back to earth with a massive bump. I slowly got disheartened after I graduated, the “what now?” feeling hit me after numerous rejections for jobs swarmed my email inbox. I kept motivation for about 6 months while looking for a job linked to my media and journalism degree, but working in a coffee shop started to grate heavily on my confidence. So I did something stupid and empowering, I quit without any other job in the pipeline. My theory was it was going to give me the motivation to find a job I really wanted. It did work, I put myself out there more but having no money complicated the situation further.
For the past 18 months I have been writing for several websites unpaid updating my CV along the way hoping that the next unpaid job will make the difference but it never does. I imagine it’s the same for everyone, when you’ve graduated and are yet to find a job associated with your degree there is an obvious sense of panic. Mine was I can’t believe I’ve spent all this money and I cant get a decent job.
So what’s the answer? Well to begin with you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself, I can guarantee a lot of graduates are still working in jobs they don’t want to be. You have to realise that no one is going to offer you a job just because you’ve got a degree. Entry level positions are just as bad because the jobs you are going for have more competition, all people who went to university who look the same as you on paper; standing out is vital.
I’d like to think working unpaid for nearly two years must make me look good; whereas putting down shopping in your hobbies isn’t a great start. Social media has become my best friend, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great platforms for me to post my new work from sites I have written for and it has gained me new support.
Sometimes it isn’t what you know, its who you know; its sounds ridiculous when you think I’ve spent all this money on my degree so why is it who I know. Well for starters, I’ve got my first interview in ages next week all because of who I know. I really should have listened when my journalism lecturer told me “contacts are vital.”
I guess he was right…