Tuesday, July 16

Why I Didn't Graduate University with a Job


I've had thoughts buzzing around in my head for this blog post for well over a year. Graduating from university is as exciting as it is terrifying and something I thought about everyday during my last year. From the moment you start your degree the question everyone asks is 'what do you want to do when you leave' and it's something I've never had an answer for. So today I wanted to share some of my thoughts around why I didn't graduate university with a job. 

"Graduating from university is as exciting as it is terrifying"

My degree in Geology is broad with lots of transferable skill so getting a job as a 'geologist' isn't as simple as it might be for student teachers or lawyers say. So while I did have courses I enjoyed more than others I had no idea how to find entry level jobs in these areas. 

"My degree in Geology is broad with lots of transferable skill so getting a job as a 'geologist' isn't as simple"

Lets rewind to summer 2017, my last long summer holiday as a student, the perfect time to get work experience? Wrong! I spent nine weeks away from home completing compulsory field trips and my solo mapping project. In fact that mapping project was a constant stress in my back of my mind for the next eight months until it was finally submitted in January the following year. My brain didn't get the chance to take a proper time out then we started back for my fourth and final year...

I remember a particularly harrowing presentation from the careers adviser piggy backed onto our morning lecture. Her main points seemed to be that the chances of finding a job or graduate scheme in Geology was so slim but even if we were looking most schemes closed in the next few weeks so we should really have been spending hours working on CVs and applications already. 

"I remember a particularly harrowing presentation from the careers adviser"

Well I went home and cried. Already feeling swamped by course work and my mapping project the news that I was already too late to apply for graduate schemes (which seemed like the only option) and on top of that I wasn't confident I'd be graduating with the 2:1 I'd need anyway.

So I made a decision, one I don't regret, I wouldn't focus my energy on finding a job. I'd focus on course work and finishing my degree with the best possible result. Mentally I couldn't deal with applying for job and the rejection that comes with it while I had to work so hard to complete all the projects that were thrown our way. 

"I made a decision, one I don't regret, I wouldn't focus my energy on finding a job"

The rest of the year continued with lots more people asking about plans when I graduated and me feeling rubbish about it. All while knowing I was doing what was right for me. I heard snippets about 'friends' applying for jobs but it all seemed ridiculously hush hush. We were, after all, in competition with each other...

In the end none of my group of friends had a job to go into the day they graduated. I know some of them who are still successful in the part-time jobs they had a students, some found jobs in the months after graduating but the majority are currently doing masters. The route it felt like the university was pushing you down but the one thing I knew definitely wasn't for me and maybe why I felt I couldn't ask for help - but that is another topic for another day.

After a summer of avoiding being an adult and an autumn/winter of sickening anxiety because I didn't feel capable and had no idea how to find a job there was finally a turning point at the start of the year. Not without another few tearful months, I am now in a job I enjoy everyday.

"Not without another few tearful months, I am now in a job I enjoy everyday"

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