A rant from an angry graduate: employment

I’m having a bad day. These things happen occasionally but today I feel like blogging about it because it is not my fault. The economy has been worse than rubbish since before I began my degree, and the days where I selfishly thought to myself that the implications of numerous recessions wouldn’t touch me are gone. I began a degree, dropped out and began another, graduated with the highest grade in my year and went travelling for months. All of these things gave the economy ample time to rectify itself to ‘booming jobs market’ status once again in my mind, yet in reality the picture is entirely different.

I began working part time when I turned 16, eight years ago. In that time I have done badly paid jobs, jobs I have hated more than I could have imagined, jobs that have physically crippled me and jobs that have been just plain embarrassing. This is what most of us do through our education though; I’m not complaining about this. The reason we take these jobs at this stage of life, however, is to avoid taking them when we are ‘adults’ and can then turn our hard work into rewards with a ‘proper’ job, education in hand.

I consider myself as having secured my first ‘proper’ job last November. It was a temporary freelance contract for a few weeks before I went travelling. Since returning, I have started a job which I probably enjoy more than any other I’ve had before and that I could imagine being more than content to stay in for the foreseeable future. But no. The economy got screwed up and now no company in all the world seems to have anything called a budget anymore and therefore jobs like mine are being set on temporary contracts not long enough to consider as anything real.

Although the length of my contract denotes that I should have remained living at home without giving myself any financial commitments, I have moved out into my own flat, being sick of the restrictions placed on me at this point in my life. Others in my situation though are more sensible than I am and see themselves living with their parents indefinitely. At the end of it all, it makes me angry. I like my job, it relates to my degree, I think I’m good at it and I want to be able to rely on it to begin my adult life as a graduate. Instead, I am likely to find myself back at the doors of the recruitment agency I used throughout university, asking for minimum wage jobs and being told by peers to be grateful for offers, including those containing the words ‘call centre’.

Short of printing more money and beginning the world finances from scratch, there is nothing that can seemingly be done about the global economy; today just happens to be a day where accepting that seems more difficult than usual.

I don’t want to believe there is nothing to be done on a personal level. I regularly try to think of things to add to my CV; new skills that could be learned, courses to go on, etc, but when it comes down to it, why should I have to, for any other reason than because I want to? So if the economy could kindly get up off its arse and hurry up getting fixed, and start giving graduates the rewards and opportunities they deserve, that would be great. Thanks.


3 thoughts on “A rant from an angry graduate: employment”

  1. I like this rant. It’s very familiar. One thing to remember that got taught to me a long time ago is no one gives a shit. I’m good, really good at my job. When you work with me you get the best, years of investment into being a craftsman-the end result will be a website to be proud of and one that doesn’t need a redesign 2 months down the line.

    The crushing part is I seem to attract the people who see what I offer as a minimal, something their cousin could do. There are people who don’t respect what you do. There’s no one to blame other than to choose a different direction and aim for clients who know what you offer is of value. Web designers get paid alot and getting paid well for a copy writing job still exists. In our field we know we can be successful or get paid well for it. The hard part is finding the people who love what you do.

    Go increase your network, start something and start screaming about yourself-be important. If no one knows you, then your stuck. It does mean working harder again though but knowing people is the key to getting where you want to be.

    Life is a bitch though. Chin up and stay with what you love doing.

    Love Darren. A fan of life’s journey

  2. Hi Laura, and also to Darren. I thought I would add a comment as I am conducting research in this area for the ESRC. See here for details of my study http://graduatedestinations.wordpress.com/tag/teresa-crew/. I am in the middle of data collection so can not say anything concrete at the moment, but I would say that my own experience and that of those who have filled in my questionnaire tend to follow both your paths – temporary, insecure employment . Although I am concentrating on north Wales, I would love to hear in more detail about your experiences as I feel there is scope to compare north Wales with another area(s). If you would like to take part in my study feel free to fill in the questionnaire at this link https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHdyNklFb2Rzb3FGaWw0OWhGai02WVE6MQ#gid=0 . Question 11 enables you to state your institution is other (i.e not the north Wales institutions I am concentrating on). The questionnaire has 25 questions, tick box and text box type. You are also welcome to email me on sopc2@bangor.ac.uk if you would just like to say a few words. Don;t worry if you are not interested in taking part, my main reason for posting was to say that such great graduates as yourself with surely be at some point first in line for the job you want . All the best, Teresa xx

    1. Thanks for your comment, Teresa. This is a topic I have only just started researching but it’s already turning out some interesting info on graduate destinations and careers. I’ll take a look at your work, good luck with the research!

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