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What job did you do after uni? Feeling depressed

(17 Posts)
Catsandbooks Mon 03-Oct-16 12:52:58

I'm posting here but not sure if it's in the right place. Apologies for how long this is, I'm just feeling pretty despondent at the moment sad

I graduated with a humanities degree from an RG uni and I don't know what to do next. Currently I am working part time in a call centre but it really isn't where I want to be at all. I feel like I'm wasting my life but I don't know where to go from here.

I hoped to get on to some sort of graduate scheme but I didn't have chance to apply to many in my final year. I had issues with family illness so finishing my degree was my priority. I'm applying for schemes for next year but it's very competitive. I have applied for a wide variety of jobs but not had much luck. A lot of my friends are going into teaching but I don't feel it's right for me.

Academically I have good results (A's at A level and a 2:1) but I guess I lack in experience. Every position seems to want lots of experience. I have previously worked in a call centre and a retail job during uni. I know voluntary work might help with building up my CV but I need to earn enough to get by as I'm renting.

I would really like to know what sort of jobs you did after uni and the career paths you followed?

thesandwich Mon 03-Oct-16 12:56:10

Have you been in touch with your uni careers service? They are usually excellent sources of help. Voluntary work etc will help.
Congratulations on your degree in challenging circumstances.

maggiethemagpie Mon 03-Oct-16 13:02:13

I went into HR, applied for loads of grad schemes (not all HR IIRC) and just went for it, basically. I think I applied for over 80. I thought even if I don't get on a HR grad scheme i can get on a general management one and switch later. But luckily I got on a HR one, there aren't many though. I also went and did some work experience in my final year... just contacted a few local HR departments until I found one that said yes.

Grad Schemes are competitive so you need to pull out all the stops if you want to get on one. No use not putting your all in, then complaining you didn't get a job with one due to them being too competitive. Fair enough if you couldn't apply last year due to family illness but that was then, this is now.

You also need to do something to make yourself stand out from the crowd ,your 'USP' if you like. you should ideally have spent time at uni developing this, eg if you want to go into management did you run any societies or charity events?

I'll be honest you should have started thinking about this from day one of uni, it's a bit late to start now as you will be playing 'catch up' amongst younger under grads, but better late than never.

Life's a game and you have to work out the rules of how to win if you want to succeed.

JasperDamerel Mon 03-Oct-16 13:06:03

I went on a graduate scheme and got a fancy professional job and hated it. I left to work in a fun but minimum wage job. The people were in that job as recent graduates are all in good jobs now, although in one case the "good job" is being self-employed in a creative area, so doesn't actually involve earning a lt of money. I think that drifting for a coyle of years can be a perfectly valid career strategy.

mouldycheesefan Mon 03-Oct-16 13:11:35

Graduate retail scheme.
Now work in HR.
You have retail experience and customer service experienced so retail grad scheme may suit you?

mouldycheesefan Mon 03-Oct-16 13:13:33

Would just add that a prerequisite of the grad retail scheme was being prepared to relocate. I worked all over the country for 9 months and then got assigned somewhere else after that. Moved 4 times in 10 months.

HeyMacWey Mon 03-Oct-16 13:15:48

I moved to a large city, temped in the sector I was interested in working in which lead to a ft role.
I wasn't interested in the graduate schemes as they mostly seemed to be in the corporate sector at the time.

annandale Mon 03-Oct-16 13:19:33

What did you like about the degree?

What, if anything, do you like about your current job/past job? What do you think you are good at?

What would your dream job be - a) if absolutely anything were possible (e.g. mine would be opera singer even though I have very limited singing talent) b) in a more realistic world?

I did find the book What Colour Is My Parachute kind of useful too. Also don't bother worrying about it being too late for anything . IMO it's never too late and even if it is, it's pointless worrying about it.

EBearhug Mon 03-Oct-16 13:24:24

Do you have any idea what you want to do? That's obviously a starting point. Knowing what other people have done can be helpful for ideas, but there's no point doing a particular job just because lots of others with your background have, if you hate the idea of it.

Think about your call centre job and any other jobs or voluntary work you've done. What gives you satisfaction, what do you really enjoy about doing it, and want to do more of? What do you really hate and never want to do again? What aspects of it are you not fussed about either way?

Also think about what skills you have gained from work and study - any IT skills, written communication, spoken communication, listening, organising, planning, etc, etc. (Also, make notes of any examples of when you've done things like deal with a difficult customer, and keep these for when you get interviews. )

By making these lists, you should start building a profile of work you'd like to do - and then you can look at what job roles might fit that profile. Work out what the ideal would be - you might have to make some compromises (not enough money, needs training, needs experience,) but you can make a plan of how to get there.

FurryDogMother Mon 03-Oct-16 13:44:33

I have a 2:1 in Humanities too. I got (unpaid) work experience at my local BBC radio station, doing everything from sitting on reception to presenting programmes, then in the afternoons I worked (paid) for a local Government scheme, doing an oral history project, and in the evenings I was a cinema usherette to top up ,my income. After about 18 months of the above, I joined the Civil Service as an Information Officer, and went on to become a press officer for various government bodies. Later in life I worked in web design. I still don't know what I want to grow up to be smile

annandale Mon 03-Oct-16 13:48:58

Oh sorry, I haven't answered your question!

I got some basic temping for a few weeks, and worked in a dress shop on Saturdays. I had a specific sports thing I wanted to do, and that let me carry on with it.

Once that was over, I got a longer-term temp job in a university department (4 months) that let me do slightly more interesting things.

Then I got a graduate entry job - not really a formal 'scheme' but they openly said they took graduates on for a couple of years and expected them to move on. The job had lots of opportunities as it was on the fringes of 'the media' but I absolutely HATED it. Luckily realised there was another field I was interested in, took a very basic job in that field and started studying again. A very very long time later (20 years later) I achieved working in the mainstream of that field, although I'd done various other things in between. It was an endless sequence of sideways moves and eventual retraining. At one point I thought I would end up earning nothing at all as I took a pay cut about four times in a row.

I can't recommend this but in general you want to look for a feeling that you are in the right place, and then work out what bit of it is right. Also going sideways is often a good thing - so develop a skill in a job that's nowhere near what you want, then use that skill to move into a company or industry that you are actually interested in, even if the job is still not right.

roundandroundthehouses Mon 03-Oct-16 14:05:20

I did bar work for a year feeling pretty lost, whilst attempting in vain to get a toe into the particularly competitive field that I wanted to work in. Then I went back to the uni Careers Service because I realised I needed to think of alternatives. I identified another field I really wanted to move into, where I knew there would be plenty of work.

Meanwhile I also applied to the Civil Service and was accepted. The first post I was offered would have been completely unsuitable for me at 22 (managing 50 year olds out in the sticks). But the second one, by a huge stroke of luck, included a large element of the new type of work that I'd identified. I couldn't get started fast enough. Several years later, when I wanted to leave the Civil Service, I pretty much had my pick of jobs of that type.

user1475253854 Mon 03-Oct-16 17:16:04

catsandbooks I'm in a v similar position. I did quite a vocational degree, so no-one was even thinking of grad schemes and now I've left I'm considering them but feel I've missed the boat a bit.

C0syCar2016 Tue 04-Oct-16 09:54:25

I did some temp work, various industries

Then worked 2 permanent jobs one day, one eve

Then I did some courses to gain some more qualifications whilst working

I was lucky to join a company on a graduate entry scheme


As you are already working I would investigate some online or evening courses in a subject that you may like to progress into. Does your work place offer any free courses or if you complete the course they may pay for an external exam ?

I know a few people who have completely changed career and the key point seems to be that they have "really wanted it" and have therefore put alot of time and effort into study

C0syCar2016 Tue 04-Oct-16 10:47:35

I forgot to say that I applied for several graduate entry schemes, so it was not the first one that I was successful with

problembottom Wed 05-Oct-16 11:15:23

I did a humanities degree and left with no real idea of what I wanted to do. Didn't apply for graduate schemes as the jobs all looked really dull.

I realised I had a very vague interest in journalism and after dipping my toe in with an admin job (brain-numbingly dull) I made becoming a writer my absolute focus. I eventually got a job at a showbiz magazine (thanks to a friend tipping me off and me charming the editor) and am now at a national newspaper. I started off on crap salaries, living in awful places, but you know what I had loads of fun too.

In any industry when you're starting out you need to make all the contacts you can (friends of friends, people you chat to on a night out, you just never know who could be useful), work massively hard (I was told I had secured one job over people who had been there much longer by making sure I was first in in the morning and last to leave every day, a very deliberate tactic of mine, even if I was just Facebooking friends from home!) and don't get disheartened by rejections, par for the course.

Good luck.

FlemCandango Wed 05-Oct-16 11:24:49

I graduated in the mid 90s a pretty bad time as the economy was still in a slump. I did some work for a film company in Soho, really interesting but only got paid expenses, so I took a part time job in lidls to keep eating etc. Then when I needed to move out of home and rent I upped my shop hours and gave up the film work. In the end I worked in the shop for over a year, saved some money and left to seek my fortune in London. Through tempting I got office experience and got an opportunity to apply for a ft position in a London borough, I then stayed in local government. That suited me my degree was in government and I got funding for post graduate study while in work. So it worked out well in the end. Being in the right place helps. There were no opportunities for me in the small town I returned to. But experience gained in the big smoke is transferabl.

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