Tag Archives: graduate

Check out what I’ve been up to since graduating

My profile at 20somethings

My profile at 20somethings in 2014

Just a small post today – I just wanted to share with you guys the link to my profile piece which is now live on the 20somethings in 2014 blog. Check it out here.

It’s a self-written piece focusing on what I have been doing since I graduated university, what career path I have taken, the experience I have gained. How I have branched out further in extra work and my plans for next year. I also share my views of the job market and would love to hear what you guys think of the piece. Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!

The benefits of moving home after graduation

After months of studying for exams and stressing over revision, they’re finally over and you can breathe a deep sigh of relief. But what happens next? The dream is that you get that 2.1 or first class honours, you scoop the job of your dreams in the big city and move into a fabulous house or apartment with some friends. The reality is somewhat different.

So many more graduates than ever before are being forced to move back in with their parents after graduation because of the lack of jobs and it can seem like a huge slap in the face after studying for a degree that you thought was going to open doors for you. Put simply, a degree just isn’t enough any more, you need heaps of experience and plenty more to set you apart from the crowds flocking to each interview. There will always be those people who walk out of university into a top job and secure the gorgeous flat and live an amazing life, but for the rest of us, there is a little bit more hard work involved. So if ¬†your CV just isn’t enough to set you apart, or you just cannot afford to live out on such a small wage and you are forced to move home, don’t worry! Moving back in with the rents is not the end of your social life, it is not a step back and it does not mean you are a loser.

You may not believe it at first, but as someone who moved back in with the rents after graduating, and who has lived back there now for two years, I am here to tell you it can actually be a huge opportunity! Here’s just some of my top reasons why:

Cash

Living with your parents gives you the opportunity to save some serious cash, either by living rent free or by bargaining your rent down to a minimal amount. I was very lucky and my parents don’t really need the rent money so they have put it aside for me to use as a deposit for a house when I move out. Either way, you will be paying a lot less than you would if you were renting a place, that is, unless your parents are really tight! You should make this your first thought and whether you are working in a great job, or just an in-between job for some cash, be thinking long-term. You will be wanting to move out or go travelling within a year or two and you will need some dollar to do it. Be sensible with your money and start putting some away into a high interest savings account or ISA as soon as you get your wages so that you can make some serious savings.

Be Young

Now on the flip-side of saving cash – spend it and live big! This is the last time in your life you will be able to be young, free and think only of yourself, at least until you are retired! You can spend money on great holidays, gigs, clothes you’ll never wear and you don’t have to worry about paying rent, mortgages, looking after children or the rest. It’s time to do all those things you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the money to do, or haven’t been old enough or had a long enough break from education. I’ve spent all money, other than my savings, on travelling to Malta, Croatia, Ireland, to festivals across the country, gigs and all sorts. I’ve had the best two years living life like a girl in her twenties should be, instead of worrying about bills and making ends meet like those who are living out.

Enjoy It

At first it will seem like hell, moving back will see your parents revert to worrying about you and checking up on you because you will be right in front of them. Give them a break, they’ve just had three years off from worrying about you and now you’ve turned up on their doorstep again! You will be just as annoying as them and while you feel smothered, they will feel like you have a bad attitude and are taking advantage of their home by using it like a hotel. Make sure to spend time with them, be polite and offer to do jobs like the ironing etc. All this will sweeten them up and will get them off your back in the long run, plus you really owe it to them when they are cleaning up after you, providing you with home-cooked meals etc. They will soon get used to you being an adult in their house and the will start to respect your boundaries. It will take time for all of you to find your groove, but after a while you will start to become like house mates rather than parents and children. My family and I now have a great balance but it sure was hard at first to lose all my freedom.

Take Opportunities

This will be a great opportunity for those who haven’t secured a job to take advantage of internships and work experience that you wouldn’t have been able to afford to do if living out and supporting yourself in your own home. You could apply for extra training, for example, I started studying for my journalism diploma before I started full time work. You could even get involved in some volunteering, which looks great on your CV and gives great experience that will be recognised by future employers. Lay the seeds, get involved in companies you would like to work for. Even if they have no vacancies, make contact, put the time in and ask them for work experience and advice. By doing this you could end up as a first choice if they suddenly need extra workers or to replace someone who leaves abruptly. If you really can’t find work and it seems hopeless, try starting a new project such as a blog or website that you can build into something bigger, or get involved with one that is already established by offering your services for free. Follow your hobby, I followed mine and ended up the editor of a festival review site (I now get my pick of the festival tickets!).

It will be hard for a while, but moving back home can give you a great opportunity to brace yourself for the real world and to let you live somewhere in the limbo between being a teenager and an adult, none of the responsibility but a little more of the freedom. Don’t mope about and feel sorry for yourself, use the situation to your advantage and do what you need to do to save money, get that dream job and move on to a place of your own.

Age is just a number – and you better believe it!

I, as I’m sure many university graduates and young people, am getting rather frustrated with being patronised.

It is incredibly disrespectful, and seems to be a growing problem as I enter the working world. They always said while I was growing up, “respect your elders”, but respect works both ways and is necessary if anything productive is going to be achieved.

I understand fully that as a recent entrant into the world of journalism I am very naive and lacking knowledge of many aspects of the journalistic world, such as law and public affairs, and will remain so until I have completed my diploma. But it would be nice to be given credit for what I do know rather than being patronised and questioned at length.

I think that graduates who are entering the working world need to remember their worth – while I understand that each and every one of us must be prepared to start at the bottom of the ladder and pay our dues – we also have to remember not to give everything away at once, not to work beyond our means just to satisfy a new boss when they are expecting us to do far beyond our expected workload.

It is so easy to get stuck into a routine of working up to an extra three hours a day now that we are in a recession and companies are short staffed. If you arrive early to work and start immediately, work through your lunch and stay late at the end of the day, you are essentially giving up your life for a job that – at the end of the day – might just make you redundant or the company may go under at any time with such an unpredictable economy.

I have done this cycle and received no thanks for all my extra efforts – always claim your time back – and now I choose not to do this. I will work extra, but always take the time back. Just because people are older and more experienced in whatever your field, it doesn’t mean they know more than you – they just know different stuff! You are coming into the industry with a more modern and younger viewpoint, you have a fresh take on old ideas, you have new knowledge of the digital world we now live in whereas the older generation in your office – or those more set in their ways – might struggle.

I actually run the website in my office and am the go-to person for all things digital. It is important to make yourself indispensable (even the editor comes to ask me questions) but don’t give them lots of extra because they will come to expect it – and trust me you will get no thanks!

The problem is that now I am finding, and friends of mine, that the reaction to this attitude and knowledge is sometimes that other members of the office become patronising towards me. They pass it off as a joke, but their comments are out of order and certainly not funny. To any other graduates out there experiencing the same thing – don’t put up with it, but certainly don’t cause a problem about it. Just continue being endlessly helpful and proving them wrong by showing them how they are failing at certain things you know more about.

Never doubt your abilities because you have as much knowledge and as many ideas as any other member of the office. It is easy to let things like this get to you, heaven knows I do, but hey, look at me – I’ve just been made an editor at 23-years-old! Look at your qualities and assess their worth before you let anyone else beat you down – your age doesn’t mean you are worth any less!