Go to university and work hard they said, you’ll definitely get a job they said – My on-going battle to find a job and be an adult.

So after writing about my anxiety I want to continue writing about big aspects of my life right now – and if there’s one thing I seem to constantly have on my mind 24/7 its: “find my dream job/ must fill out 1000 application forms today” (also when is my princess diaries moment coming… ?! Any day now). Having studied Politics at university leaves you with lots of wiggle room. I won’t lie, clearly what I thought I wanted was enough room to wiggle …. I now would trade it all in for a solid job idea.

Now, the question that graduates everywhere fear the most … “how’s the job search going?”. Normally this is said in a condescending tone from an older relative who has no idea what LinkedIn even is and keeps suggesting that you just “hand out CV’s”. DAMN IT AGNES, IF IT WAS THAT EASY I’d just march up to Oxfam and hand them my CV. Frankly at this stage I’d do a little dance for them.

So this leads me to situations with relatives/friends/random opinionated people you meet at 2am in a smoking area, giving you their often-garbled opinion on what is a very frustrating moment in your life and exactly how to fix it. I know that mostly they are trying to help and are offering me what they genuinely think is useful advice. But the tone often suggests that the real issue is me not trying hard enough.

I have truly bent over backwards to finish lengthy job applications or make it to interviews. I recently made it to the final round for a job I desperately wanted, so did an interview half through a trip, in Jerusalem, via Facetime audio, in a packed hostel, with about 6 different languages being spoken in the background, in 34 degree heat (I’ll let that absolute car crash of an image soak in). Did I end up getting this job? No, but at least I know I did literally everything I could.


UNPAID INTERNSHIPS – what fresh hell is this?

You’re looking at your favourite job sites (for me its Charityjobsuk, Goodmoves etc.) then you see something you actually have all the skills to do, (who hasn’t done a Joey – Friends scenario and said they had 10 years of dance background when actually you cant touch your toes), your heart fills with joy and then you see the wage – £0?! Horrifyingly, most of these internships are in London. Who on earth can afford to work full time in London for nothing?!

In my mind, these unpaid internships are totally ridiculous, unachievable and seem to be designed to lower our expectations, make us too scared to ask for a raise and attempt to normalise something that is NOT normal all under the guise of the illusive “experience”.

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I find it hard and often embarrassing in this world of instantly being able to compare yourself to others to admit I’m not where I wanted to be by now in terms of work. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve literally wanted to rip all my hair out and scream when I don’t get an unpaid volunteering role, let alone the fully paid jobs I’ve applied for. But I have learned some things …..

The things I have learned from not getting my dream job:

  • Rejection is hard
  • Ignoring peoples advice for your own sanity is okay
  • 12 page Job applications after 12am are NOT worth it
  • Keep going


It’s funny, because when I look back at the late nights at university in the library (don’t look at me like that I definitely had at least 4!), I know that at the time I genuinely thought that I was working towards getting a degree class that would help me sail into a great job – so I did just that, worked hard, fought through my dads death and anxiety attacks to get a 2:1. I now know that the reality in 2017 is much harder than that and that as a generation we are all in the same very unemployed boat. Undoubtedly, I have a lot more late nights ahead – staring at my computer screen regretting not following my 7-year-old dream of being the next Britney – ironic, because if this keeps up I’ll be Britney circa 2007. But I’m going to keep trying, and keep looking for something that does value my skills and doesn’t expect me to work for nothing – there has to be at least one job going like that? One thing I know for sure is when I finally end up with a job that really inspires me I am not going to be making any more coffee for entitled middle-aged white men – while they click their fingers at me and refer to me as sweetheart. And that is in many ways my dream job for now.




4 thoughts on “Go to university and work hard they said, you’ll definitely get a job they said – My on-going battle to find a job and be an adult.

  1. I totally relate with all of this. I did my Masters to try and get a better job (after my BSc I’d taken a job in a school just to earn money), and 4 months down the line of finishing my MSc I’m still no closer to having a job and all that nagging from family and friends about how the job search is going is soul destroying!

    You find jobs, they’re all internships that YOU have to PAY yourself to actually go and do. I don’t have the money to do that. Or people say “go and get some voluntary experience, that’ll stand you in better stead for getting a job” I would but I don’t have the money to do so.

    And the keep going one is so hard. It is soul destroying and there are days now I just think “I can’t be bothered” especially when you’ve sent off all these applications and you never hear back. I’d rather have a quick email saying “no” than not ever hearing anything (especially for the ones where interview dates aren’t specified)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey from an ex St. G’s girl! I can feel your frustration – I’ve been there. My advice would be skip the application forms and grad schemes if possible. I know some companies don’t work with recruiters but it’s so much better if you are in a position to be referred by a recruitment consultant. This way you get to meet with the director/ hiring manager and you’re not just another faceless candidate. Example: I applied for a couple of grad schemes post uni with a first class degree in my subject (a degree isn’t all it’s cracked up to be) and didn’t one call back. Three years later after I had messed around not knowing what to do career wise, I phoned up a recruiter had two interviews set up a couple of weeks later and was offered a job at the second interview within ten minutes of leaving the interview room. Skipped all the ridiculous hoops. Most directors will hire on personality and if you project confidence in an interview you’re more likely to get hired than if you write a bunch of stuff on a piece of paper and submit it online. I’d also advise speculative applications and writing directly to the head of a company if you’re interested in working for them. Shows initiative. Also please don’t be under the illusion that it’s harder to get a job in 2017 than it was a few years back – it’s always been hard generally speaking and I don’t think many people sail into jobs. Even once I got my job the past couple of years have been hard graft and long hours to get to my level now and achieve what I wanted. Anything worth it’s while in life will not come easily.
    Further tips:
    – don’t fire out a tonne of applications. Better to have quality over quantity.
    – reassess whether you’re restricting your search (it’s very difficult to find the ‘dream’ job first time – if that even exists. My old lecturer told me that the first job you take may not be ideal but you have to start somewhere.
    -like you’ve said above ‘fake it’. Learn to play the game but still remain true to yourself and you’ll get where you want to be.
    Keep at it and best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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