Saturday, 23 April 2011

Graduate seeking job...


The sun is out, Easter is nearly here, it can only mean one thing...yes exam time is here again! As a finalist, the exams this year have added weight, not because they are worth any more but rather because I know that I have to do well and I have to get a job. There's no doubt about it, the job market is pretty dire for graduates but there is a shiny job out there, waiting for me, right? As the end of the years draws ever closer, this is clearly not the case. Beth and Carla have written about trying to find a job in the past and the truth is a degree isn't the 'golden ticket' it may once have been. I have applied to countless jobs and heard back from about 2, telling me that I was unsuccessful. But what can I do? 

For me, half of the difficulty lies with choosing which jobs to apply for. I know that if my heart's not in it, the people reading my application form will be able to tell. Is it better for me to apply to hundreds of jobs willy nilly or to try and be more focused in the hope that quality not quantity will prevail? I have always wanted a job that 'made a difference' as corny as that sounds and I whilst I will be a Warwick graduate, I really don't think I'm cut out for the frenetic pace of life in the City like many of my peers. Since writing this blog I have looked into pursuing a more creative path as I really enjoy the process of writing, research and photography that goes towards creating a blog post. My biggest worry is whether  I want to 'taint' what is a creative outlet, by doing it for a living. For me, my blog is an escape and I don't know if I want to mix work and play!

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am trying to navigate the murky waters of graduation and beyond. It is scary stuff and I am utterly terrified about life after university but I guess as long as I stay positive and get as much work experience as possible then anything is possible right? This is a bit of a rambly post and I apologise, I guess I am trying to work out the best direction for me to take next and any help would be greatly appreciated! 

Have you graduated? Do you have any advice  for me?
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25 comments

Dreams That Glitter xoxo said...

I'm a finalist too, and have no advice, but it's certainly scary times :(.

xoxo

Abbie said...

Stay positive! There is the perfect job out there for you somewhere. But I totally agree, it is a terrifying time, I'm in the process of finding my first teaching post and it's so scary to think that in some schools there are over 300 applicants per post...

But stay positive and keep on searching! xxx

Bethany Mason said...

I can totally relate to how you're feeling right now. I've just handed in my final piece for uni and, as I have no exams, am 'finished' (though I'm still technically a student til the end of June). Now I'm trying to figure out all the big scary life stuff like where to live and where to get money from. I wish you the best of luck and hope that we can both find our way soon enough.

Rachel said...

I finish uni at the end of May and am so scared! I'd say just take everything in your stride and keep trying. I think there needs to be a balance between applying willy nilly or waiting for the ones you really want - remember that some jobs may provide a useful stepping stone to something more appropriate. And don't be afraid to do some work for free :) x

Harriet said...

I graduated a couple of years ago now, when the job market was bad though not as bad as it is now, so I can symapthise with how hard it is.

I'm not sure I can help much though because what I wanted from a career was primarily money and security, which is why I became an accountant! Not very glam!

I know it seems like lowering your standards, but very few people these days start out in their dream job - most people have to take a few stepping stones before they get it. I'd suggest keeping trying to get something in your chosen field, even if it's not that dream spot, and work your way up from the inside.

I have plenty of friends who've started as interns and PAs and doing all sorts of boring roles to get a foot in the door, but once they're in they get the experience and more importantly the contacts to find that dream job. It's out there, don't worry!

Susie said...

Ooh, I do not envy you, I'm so glad I have a couple more years left in my program! I would recommend using your alumni networks if you can. I found a lot of my jobs after my undergrad degree that way. Try to meet up with the more senior people of companies you like for "informational interviews" where you find out more about how they got where they did and ask for advice. Who knows, if they like you, they might be apt to make room (or know someone else who is hiring.) Hope this helps and good luck, Maria!

Yu said...

Hang in there, like you said there's a shiny job out there waiting for you! :)

Leia said...

I finished my Masters in September and still don't have a job! :\

Leia

Sherin said...

Yh, the job market is still pretty dire. I'm living proof of that! There are tons of unpaid jobs available, but no guarantee of a job after, so it's just free labour for the employers.

It's true though. Just stay positive and you'll find your dream job.

Dani said...

Sadly I have no advice for you, I'm as scared as you are! I've applied for a Masters to put off job-hunting for another year, but if I don't get in I have no idea what I'll do!I'll be happy whatever job I get, really! All I can say is stay optimistic, I'm sure you'll hear from somewhere soon :) xx

Ella Ivey said...

I graduated last Summer. I was such a neurotic student - I studied Economics so barely left my room in the last few months before exams. I was in the same situation as you; completely scared that my uni life was ending and terrified of graduating at a time when jobs were scarce.

My problem was also that I had no idea which career path I wanted to take. So I started off as a Fashion Buyer in Autumn last year. It turned out I hated it. Now, I've managed to find a wonderful job in marketing (something I've always been interested in). I know it's scary, but these first few years after graduating are about finding out where you want to work. Don't dwell on it too much - test the waters and find what fits well. The unknown is sometimes exciting rather than scary.

Hope that helps (Sorry, I've pretty much written an essay) :) xx

straydogstrut said...

It's tough out there because employers are spoilt for choice with all the applicants nowadays, both from graduates and from professionals who've found themselves out of a job because of cuts.

I'm actually working in recruitment (highways/rail maintenance contracts - not exactly the right industry to do you any favours, sorry!) and we see hundreds of CVs that to be honest, we just don't have time to look at.

I know myself how depressing it can be applying for jobs, especially when you don't hear back. But don't take it personally. Just make the most of any opportunity you can get to sell yourself. Personally, i'm crap at selling myself and I hate that whole idea. I know I have qualities but i'd much rather see others succeed before me. That's crazy, I know.

I think you do have to keep blitzing the job boards, but I agree: what's the point in applying if your heart's not really in it? Employers will know the difference. I've seen lots of copy and paste applications, believe me.

However you can fall into the trap of holding out for the perfect job. Like the other poster said: work your way up. If you have a goal, plan how you can work towards that. I think it's unrealistic and unhealthy to feel pressured to land the 'career job' straight from uni.

For myself, this is not my career job. Actually, no, that's not right, I really enjoy this job and I hope I can progress beyond it to a career in IT support or something, but what I mean is it's not the career job people would expect me to have. It's not even related to my degree. I studied Computer Games Design and i'm working in admin/recruitment. Go figure.

I think a lot of it is to do with my own insecurities: I don't see myself as the right kind of person to work in the games industry. Don't get me wrong, I love games and still want to make them, but i've resolved myself to pursuing that in my own time. For the time being, my career and my main interests are separate and that's okay with me.

I know that some people are disappointed that i'm not 'using my degree' - not my parents though, they're wonderful, understanding people - but i'm happy for the time being. I'm busier than ever at work, and I have numerous projects in the works to satisfy my creative interests.

Nothing's set in stone though - and that applies to you too - the choices you make now don't have to be the be all and end all of it. You can always change paths later.

Keep your chin up, you will find something. Apply early and often and if you do get offered an interview, make the most of it. Even if you don't get the job, act professional and ask for feedback. Also network: meet as many people as you can in your area of interest - hey photography/writing sounds cool - and get yourself a long to the main events in your field and write about them. Your blog is a really good start and you'd be surprised how public it can become. Without changing who you are and what you're about, bear in mind that your blog is another way to present yourself to potential employers.

I wish you the best of luck finding something you love.

Maria said...

Dreams that Glitter- I know! :(

Abbie- I think it is a matter of staying hopeful and keep applying!

Betahny- It's terrifying isn't it?!

Rachel- Yeah I am planning to get as much work experience as possible to help build up my CV!

Harriet- My family are either engineers or accountants so I have resisted their efforts so far to push me in those career directions :P I am totally willing to work my way up but it's what direction I go in to begin with...

Susie- Thank you, I am trying to use every resource available to me, I need all the help I can get!

Yu- Fingers crossed!

Leia- I just want a job!

Sherin- I am worried about working for free with no pay off at the end in terms of career prospects!

Dani- I just need a job!

Ella- I guess I just have to try things out till I decide what to do!

Starydogstrut- I do find it particularly difficult promoting myself so I guess walking my way up is the only option I have left :) I guess I can change my path later on, I just need and want a secure job!

Maria xxx

Martha said...

I graduated a couple of years back and I still have no idea what I want to do. I wouldn't dream of giving you any advice because it simply doesn't work the same for everyone.

The thing you need to remember is - did you know this is where you would be five years ago? Did you have a same dreams/aspirations/opinions and beliefs as you do now? Do you have the same partner, the same focus, the same attitudes? I expect the answer is probably no. Then why do you expect to know where and what you want to be in five years from now?
Go with the flow. You will never be able to guess where you end up. Life's a journey, and no amount of planning will prepare you.

xxx

Florence said...

cool blog
followed. im a uni student too and I'm stuck stuck stuck!

www.fantailflo.com

Alexandra said...

Good luck with the job applications!
I graduated just over a year ago, but had been applying for graduate positions for the entire year before then. I would estimate submitting about 60 applications? Most of those jobs I was applying for the sake of applying. I prioritised the applications so that I always submitted the important ones and if I had spare time, wrote applications for the not so fantastic jobs.

Sadly, a lot of it is down to luck (right role/right time, other applicants pull out etc.) but if you keep at it you'll get there!

My one hint is to always ask for feedback on your application when rejected - that way you can use to to improve your next application!

Winnie said...

Good luck with the job search too. I know exactly how you feel because I was confused when I first left uni...and then I ended up going back for a masters and now I'm pretty sure I want to work in marketing. I'm still yet to land a job but I think work experience is a very good thing to have because it'll give you an idea. Don't worry too much about it at the moment though, just concentrate on getting through the final leg of the degree!

Gillian said...

I know exactly how you feel! I've still got another year to go at uni, but the thought of graduating terrifies me. I've never had a 'dream career' and chose my degree subject (history) just because I liked it and was good at it. I have absolutely no idea what type of jobs I'm going to apply for once I graduate!
I'm trying to find a part-time job for over the summer at the moment and even that is proving difficult, total nightmare!
Good luck with the job hunt! :)

A Certain Vintage said...

i am degree-less, university of life! my boyfriend is a post grad...we both have equal difficulty on the job hunt. It's all about getting you foot in the door and lord knows how you do that nowadays. Enjoy the last days of college, don't worry too much about the future. It's good to stay focused but don't beat yourself up over it either, it just takes time and a lot longer than it used to these days as well. Good luck :)
BTW your last few posts have been gorgeous, the sun looks even hotter in England than it has been here and your outfits have been adorable :)
xox

Abi said...

I can totally relate with the dilemma here as I only just completed my final exams last week and will be graduating in June. It's a little scary hearing stories about how poor the job market is, and how past graduates are having some difficulty.
I say just tailor your resume to each job you're interested in and try not too get overwhelmed with the job search process as that just creates more stress. All the best doll!

Fashion Junkie said...

This whole final year thing is scary isn't it?! I'm going to be graduating with a triple major (unique for the time being) in French, German and Spanish. And you're right, just because we go to certain uni's or get certain degrees, it's not a guarantee anymore.

My feeling on finding a job- only apply for the things you really want. And if it's at all possible, maybe think about doing a range of internships before taking one to find out if something is for you and to make good contacts. Also- keep an open mind to anything you stumble across. Ask questions about what is possible with a position or company, and whether you can incorporate things you want to try into it. You never know what's possible.

Also, I know it's not the same for everybody, but I find talking through ideas and options with my parents really helpful. My mum is a great strategist and my dad is good at remembering that I'm human and yes I want to have a job that pays for me to enjoy the things I love in my spare time, but I also have to want to get out of bed and go to work at least some of the time. They're super-supportive in reminding me that all sorts of things are possible but realistic in the things that are maybe a bit too far fetched.

Good Luck with the hunt and decision making.

Kb said...

I'm in the same sort of boat, very worried but hopefully my blog will keep me focused on all things fashion related.

Victoria said...

My advice would be to apply for anything and everything and take any jobs you can get. Employers are looking for people with a good education and experience. When you get a job try to take on as many responsibilities as possible to gain experience and something else to put on your CV, it all helps.

I'm in the opposite position I have loads of work experience but now to further my career I need a degree :(

Good Luck hun xxx

Lizzy Lips said...

You have inspired me to write a post on trying to find a job after graduation. Check out my lastest post, I hope it helps you and others out.

http://lizzys-lips.blogspot.com/2011/04/at-your-service.html

Gem said...

It took me a long time to find a job but when I did finally land the job I was so happy and it was the perfect role for me.
I only got my job because I did 2 weeks work experience in the medical students library, a job came up in the arts library and all the lovely people who I did my work experience with helped me fill my application in and one of them said they would be a reference. Even though graduation is a not for a while you should apply for work expereince now because everyone will be applying in July, get in there early!
Beth works with me now :)
x

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