No Clue What to Do?… Don’t Panic!
Left uni, or just about to leave, without a job or any idea what you’d like to do? Time to panic! Kidding! – but that’s how I felt…
Having studied abroad in America in my third year (where I’d only had to pass), final year work was a bit of a shock to the system! How I was expected to do all my work, dissertation, have a social life AND apply for grad schemes, among a million other things?… I had no idea!
Grad schemes… To Be or Not To Be
Lots of my mates spent hours searching and applying for grad schemes and had lots of success with it, but it just wasn’t for me! I couldn’t bring myself to fill out the endless forms when I barely had a clue what I wanted to do – turns out, that’s not the end of the world! If you simply just don’t know what you want to do, or can’t commit to millions of applications – don’t worry! As awesome as grad schemes can be, they’re not for everyone!
Equally – if you do fancy a grad scheme but just don’t have time to apply while at uni – guess what? – that also isn’t the end of the world. You can just apply the following year… most employers will class you as a ‘grad’ for at least 2 years after you graduate! There are endless options and opportunities out there, so don’t fret!
Chalet Girl #seasonnaire
In my case…I cracked on with my final year, with the daunting prospect of no job when I finished…eek. And when the uni dream did eventually end, I admittedly went full blown noncommittal and managed to secure myself a job as a chalet girl on a ski season! What better way to buy myself a bit of time before having to face the ‘real-world’?
I had about 5 months to kill time post uni, to earn some cash, do a spot of travelling and contemplate my career prospects, before I headed off to the pow pow and action-packed après. In that time I came to the conclusion that marketing may be my thing. I figured I enjoyed creative thinking and it’s a nice broad place to start – so, with just a few emails I managed to secure myself a week’s unpaid work experience at a small agency in London!
Unpaid Work Experience… aged 24
Admittedly I went in a little cynical – thinking ‘I’m not really going to achieve much groundwork in a week but at least it’s something extra for the CV!’ But, with some wise words from the mother hen telling me to make sure I was pro-active, helpful and that I didn’t leave the office precisely when the clock struck 5 (because it’s all about leaving an impression) – it all worked out rather well… guess where I’m working now?! And before you ask – my 5-month long escapade on the slopes didn’t hamper my chances of bagging a job. If anything, experiences like that are something extra for employers to ask about in your interview… there’s always a positive!
My advice – even if it’s just a week, get some work experience in you!
Real job search time…eek
So…post ski-season, travelling bug ‘carved’ outta my system for a little while, I was ready to finally join my mates in London! At first, that definitely seemed easier said than done after applying for all sorts of jobs, with not one person getting back to me. I didn’t get in touch with the work experience agency at first cos I wanted to see what else was out there but eventually, after a couple of interviews (finally), I decided to give ‘em a buzz. By some miracle the same team I had worked with were interviewing for a junior position the following week and were happy for me to come in for an interview!
And there you have it (long story short) – hello first job! No it wasn’t necessarily a perfect fit, nor did I know what I was really going to be doing but through having this job, I’ve been able to figure out what I like and what ain’t for me!
Handy take homes from all this babble:
- Persistence is definitely key – all the blood, sweat and tears poured into the millions of applications will pay off in the end… promise!
- You’re never too old for work experience! (It’s also pretty handy if you’re not sure what you want to do!)
- Don’t fret about stepping into the big bad working world – it isn’t as big and bad as you might think!
- Unsure about a job? Maybe just give it a try – it can be the perfect place to learn what it is you do actually like!
Works at a Marketing Agency in London | @geveritt24
Studied Geography at Manchester Uni
Figuring out life at 25 and having a ball