If your graduation celebrations were anything like mine, then you probably pre-planned a week out of your hectic schedule (watching repeats of Jeremy Kyle whilst trawling through online job advertisements) to bask in the glory of student life one last time. After completing my final exam of university in June 2011, and subsequently clinging onto that carefree lifestyle for another two weeks, it felt like I only had one more thing to look forward to; GRADUATION.
Although my graduation ceremony only took place for a few hours on a Monday morning in July, I managed to stretch the celebrations out for a whole week. It was an unforgettable week that myself and my fellow graduates definitely made the most of. After the celebrations were done, I made the depressing journey back home to Durham. Squashed on the back seat of a friend’s car, the journey brought an unwelcome realisation; the bubble had well and truly burst.
And it didn’t stop there. The next few months were plagued with more hiccups than the infamous Leveson Inquiry. Faced with a bleak job market, slightly overbearing parents and ambiguous government support, it was evident that the move home wasn’t going to be as smooth as I had foreseen. The stop-gap which I had intended only to be a few months turned into a lot longer than that. And from the diagram below, I’m sure you’ll be able to identify with some of the problems I came across during my time at home.
So as you can see, the temporary move home pretty much grinded to a halt. Challenged with an extremely competitive job market in which 69 graduates applied to each entry level job (Association of Graduate Recruiters), not to mention a nation on the brink of a double dip recession, scanning the web and applying to jobs became fairly demotivating. This was also combatted with the laborious process of claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and satisfying the requirements of my JSA agreement.
Due to my lack of relevant experience, I made several attempts to secure voluntary work placements in media agencies across the northeast. However, I was later informed by my JSA advisor that anything other than charity work would conflict with my JSA agreement.
And to top it all off, I had two inquisitive parents breathing down my neck, grilling me for any developments in my search for a job. It seemed like being social was something that had to be justified.
Having conferred with many of my fellow graduates, I feel confident in saying that I wasn’t the only one experiencing a lengthening stop-gap. With so many graduates in this position, it seemed only fitting to investigate the advice that’s out there and give you a nudge in the right direction.
Although the advice that’s out there is fairly minimal, to attempt to condense it all into one blog post would be nothing short of Ludacris. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll cover the issues that many graduates face when they realise that the bubble has burst, and provide you with some outstanding advice from yours truly.
P.S. I promise I won’t make you wait as long for the next installation.