Entering the adult world is hard. You have to deal with bills, taxes and there is no grandmother to make you lunch. However most of us do look forward to this part of our lives when we will be independent and in charge of our days. Whether you have just finished school or graduated from college/university, you are officially an adult now. This often means that it is time not only to learn how to do your taxes, but you also need to find a job. Job hunting in this economy is tricky to say the least especially for the young skilled unemployed. However this is why a lot of young people strive towards good diplomas, internships and experience. All of this is done towards one goal – the perfect, lucrative job that waits for you after you graduate. Yet, and I can tell from personal experience, the perfect job does not wait for you after graduation. Even a job in your field is close to impossible to get. So what do you do now?
According to the Parliament statistics more than 568, 000 young people are currently unemployed in the UK. This number does not include the young people who have jobs that do not reflect their education
I have worked in the hospitality sphere for more than three years now, a field that has nothing to do with my diploma in English Literature. During this time I have seen some of the brightest young people working a job that is just not for them. I have met cancer researchers, engineers, psychologists, writers, etc. you get the point. Young, smart people who deserve a great future but do not get one because of the lack of jobs in the field. In my parents’ and grandparents’ times a diploma meant a secure job after you graduate. Nowadays, the economy is not in its best state which means that a lot of qualified young people suffer and are unemployed. Although statistics show that the unemployment in young people is decreasing that does not necessary mean that you get to work what you have worked so hard for in school and university.
Nowadays, the economy is not in its best state which means that a lot of qualified young people suffer and are unemployed. Although statistics show that the unemployment in young people is decreasing that does not necessary mean that you get to work what you have worked so hard for in school and university. YEUK (Youth Employment UK) says that ‘Youth unemployment has been an escalating problem in the UK since 2005, with the most recent rises directly attributable to issues of the economy’. This does mean that not only diverse talents are loss but youth unemployment has a huge impact on the economy of the UK.
As The Guardian puts it ‘Young people are on the receiving end of economic injustice.’ It takes ages and constant perseverance to get a job which is a very discouraging thought. From personal experience, it took me more than nine months after I had graduated to find something that is a little bit more lucrative, although still not in my field of studies.
The same thing happened to Pam a recent psychology graduate who says:“When I entered the last year of my psychology degree I was excited but also very nervous since I knew that I wouldn’t have the security of my student status anymore. Luckily for me a module in my third year included doing extensive research on career paths for psychology graduates so I realized that postgraduate study is a must for everyone who wants to be a chartered psychologist. Unfortunately, very few programmes not focused on research get funded in my field so I decided to spend a couple of years working and gaining useful experience while saving up money. I enjoyed the academic environment of my university and after applying for multiple summer projects and research internships I got three interviews but I failed to secure any of the positions. My next most desirable employer was the NHS so after an appointment with the Careers Services I sent my applications for assistant psychologist and support worker which again were unsuccessful. At this point I felt pretty discouraged but I continued to apply for similar positions and about six months after I graduated I got my current job as a support worker for people with physical and learning disabilities.’’
And still this position is not her dream job but it is a step towards it. There are many reasons behind this high rate of unemployment. However, there are a number of things that each and every one of us can do in order to get a job.
First of all, spend time working on your CV. According to Kevin Peachey, BBC, “Employers receive an average of 60 applicants for every advertisement for a low-skilled job, and 20 for every skilled job. So that makes their CV – or curriculum vitae – all the more important when attempting to stand out from the crowd.’’ It is what your future employer is going to see and first impressions do matter. Make sure you present your strengths and show your enthusiasm. Include all relevant experience that you have and then some more. That does not mean you should exaggerate but do focus on your positive sides. A nice, clean, professional format is a must so get help with the presentation.
Talking of experience, I know that working while studying is hard but it does look great on your CV. Andrea Rannard, further and higher education senior manager at Volunteering England, says: “With more graduates entering the global labour market, higher education establishments in the UK need to ensure they provide ready-to-work graduates. One way to do that is to mix academic skills with opportunities for practical application. These opportunities can often easily be gained through volunteering.” Every skill that you can get from such activities is an asset that employees cannot overlook and it is certain to boost your CV. It shows you can multitask, manage your time, etc. If you do not have the time to do so, sign up for clubs and societies. Or you can do some volunteering which will help you develop skills and also show you have a lot of interests.
Another thing that I believe is important is not to shrug off jobs. It may not be what your heart desires but every position can teach you something that you can use in the future. It might be an admin office job or one in a shop, it does not matter. You probably don’t like it but try to get the most of it. Some jobs will show you how to cash up, how to engage with clients, how to understand products and these skills are important. Even the worst job imaginable can give you something that will bring you closer to your goal.
And last but not least, do not give up. For me, this has been the most important advice so far. I know it can be hard when you get rejections after rejections but do not despair. Something that is right for you will come up. Everyone around me spends months without answers. And then the one answer comes.
So, create an amazing CV, polish your skills, take on even the worst position and persevere because the job for you is out there and you will eventually get it. Do not let the world get you down, work hard and get that job!
Written byGalina Miteva
Galina is a recent graduate from Glasgow University with a double major in English Literature and Religion. A proper book junkie, when she is not buried in her books, she works, writes and spends time with her friends, her partner and their cat Chicken.