I finished Uni almost four months ago. I left halls of residence two months ago and moved into a room in a shared house. It’s practically the end of the summer, and I still don’t have a job. I’m currently doing an unpaid social media internship at an agency in Central London, working 45 hours a week. It’s great experience, and everyone in the office is lovely, but it doesn’t pay the bills (well except my travel card to get to work!) I’m writing this post sat on the tube on my way to the job centre to sign on for the ridiculous amount of money they consider enough to live off (on? I’ve never known with that which is correct…)
I would much rather not have to collect job seekers allowance (JSA). I’d much rather have a job which pays my bills and leaves me with enough money to actually enjoy life a little bit. The sad truth though, is that as a graduate with a 2:1 and little ‘real work’ experience getting a job isn’t that simple. Any waitressing, retail assistant or similar position requires experience which I just don’t have. Any marketing job is going to the marketing grads, and all the internships are super competitive. I’ve applied to a lot, and had a lot of silence in return. I did get to the final stage for one graduate scheme, which I had set my heart on getting, but ultimately I lost out on the job because I didn’t have enough experience in one particular element of the role. It was demoralising to say the least, when I’d poured my heart and soul into a rigorous application process, only to falter at the last step.
The truth is, part of the reason I may have failed to secure a job so far is that I am unsure about which direction to go in. I have a lot of passions, talents and dreams which I want to pursue during my career, but I am stuck on the first move to make. With so many possibilities open to me, I don’t just want to fall into a generic job for the sake of having a job, only to get stuck doing something which doesn’t make me happy for a large portion of my life. There’s also the issue that it’s almost impossible to get a job in retail which actually pays your bills without any retail experience.
Because of this, and the fact that I was told by the job centre that actually, I can’t keep doing an internship which gives me invaluable industry experience and also something to focus on, I have decided to start a new project. This takes many forms, the first of which is this blog. I’ll still be posting regular smile diary stuff (actually a lot more regularly than I have been! Promise!) but I’ll also be doing this Grad Diaries series. It will largely chart my journey post university, but I’ll try and get a few guest posts from other bloggers and writers who have finished Uni recently. The posts will cover everything from job searching to coping with the transition from student life to ‘the real world’ and everything in between.
The other parts of the project I’ll talk about later, in large part because I’m still developing them in the coffee percolator part of my brain, but also because this post is long enough already! Basically, watch this space and I’m quite excited to start this journey, and share it with the internet.
Have a great day