So it’s one thing to have actually finished University, but now the difficult part has started: the endless job search!
I’ve lost count of the number of job applications I’ve sent out to this point and the lack of responses I’ve received is disheartening and stressful. Additionally, the plundering funds in my bank account is worrying.
The most stressful thing about the whole situation for looking for a job is the fact that I actually don’t know what kind of job I’m looking for or what career path I might be interested in pursuing. The most common misinterpretation of those that go to University is that everyone knows exactly what it is that they want to go into once they’ve graduated. This is false. Yes, some will know exactly what career they wish to go into post University, whereas most won’t have a clue. I belong to the latter category.
A lot of pressure is put on young people to have an idea of what they might want to do once they leave education and how they’re going to provide for themselves in the future. This pressure is introduced as early as Year 9, when teenagers aged 14 are required to select what GCSEs they wish to take. Teenagers are expected to know what career they wish to go into when they are still children and that they must choose their GCSEs according to that specific chosen career goal, which they will then be able to continue on into their A Levels and then finally at Degree/Masters/Doctorate level. It’s ridiculous!
I think it’s particularly frustrating that some teachers think it’s acceptable to tell a children aged 14 that if they don’t know what they want to do with their life – there and then at that age – that they will aspire to nothing and end up being nothing more than a ‘bum’. I think that’s an absolutely disgusting thing to put into a child’s head who still, in reality, has years to decide what they want to do. Yes, choosing the right or appropriate GCSEs/A Levels may help a person more in the future (I’ve definitely learnt that one the hard way!) but at the same time a child should be able to choose subjects that they will enjoy, not just because they think it will help them to get to their desired future career.
Looking back at my A Level choices of Drama, Music Technology and Art (and an AS Level in English Literature) I perhaps should have chosen to study a more diverse range of subject and branched away from the creative subjects (also, maybe continuing with English Lit for the second year and gaining a full qualification!). But, if I had chosen other subjects then I might have risked not enjoying them so much and, as a result, potentially gaining lower grades as a result. It’s a known fact that I have excelled in creative subjects compared to academic subjects such as Maths or Science. I chose subjects that I enjoyed and wanted to study, rather than chooses subjects that I thought would look better on a CV. So, both pros and cons there, but you can’t change the past!
Also, the reality of the world is that people change and so do their goals. I went to University to study Drama with the anticipation of then going on to post-graduate study to gain a PGCE so I could become a teacher. However, circumstances and experiences have lead to that expectation becoming null and void. After taking a Teaching Drama module at University I realised that, actually, I didn’t want to be a teacher as I didn’t enjoy it all that much – as many others on the module also realised too, so I’m not alone there! I just shows that you can’t chose what career you want to have when you’re only 14-years-old as you don’t know what you’ll be like in the future or whether you’ll still have the same aspirations and goals as you did as a teenager.
As my job search continues, no matter how stressed I get over it, I know that there is a job out there that is right for me. It may take a while for me to find it, but it’s out there. As my mum says, so many people simply fall into their jobs by chance but that you shouldn’t dwell on it. Take what comes your way, even if it doesn’t sound like something you might be interested in – it may surprise you and you may find that you’re actually good at it.
Wish me luck with my job search!