Warsaurus

Lifestyle, Travel, Beauty, Reviews.


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Let’s Get Personal: Life Update

Next month marks an entire year since I graduated university. That day I honestly believed I would be stepping forwards into a hopeful and promising year of opportunity, learning and fun.

In the spirit of full disclosure and transparency, I was wrong.

 

This past year has been one of the hardest of my life. Getting a job, any job not even graduate positions, proved harder than my optimistic self expected. I have not seen my university pals as often as I would want; they each have their own lives, jobs, successes and hardships to navigate. As a result I have spent the last year feeling frequently useless and alone.

(I have written about this before, see here! (the last time I updated, oops), but here are the details and the update since.)

Back in August or so last year I signed onto JSA and had to log thirty-five hours a week of proactive job seeking activity and attend a weekly meeting with a work coach. While my coach managed to always have a positive spin on things, the whole experience and constant application rejection application rejection knocked all my confidence and had a big impact on my mental health.

By October I was not in a good place.

When I wasn’t reading through rejection emails or attending a compulsory customer service course plus unpaid manual labour “experience” through the job centre I was hiding in my bedroom, compulsively reading through the endless Facebook status updates of everyone else’s success.

Eventually I managed to get a Christmas job at M&S and was kept on in the New Year. This could not have come at a better time as it gave me some sort of purpose and reason to get up and out each day, as well as the wonderful women I worked with having such pearls of wisdom and hilarious stories to tell. Since my contract there ended in April, I have in all honesty hit another lull.

I am yet to work out my true niche in life.

Having always been the girl who knew what she was aiming for, since graduation I have walked through fog never knowing exactly which direction I’m facing. But there are more of us out there than we realise.

So I ask for your patience and understanding.

On the positive side of things, I do have an unconditional Masters place for September and a mini-internship at a social marketing company (yay), so I am at least moving forwards.

 

Are you struggling with life after graduation too? Give me a shout with your tips and tricks for those bad days on my Twitter!

 

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The Fineprint of Graduate Life

Life after university is hard. 

No one talks about the endless applications for jobs or experience or even higher education, never mind the horrendous indecision about whether you’re making the right choice. 

This has been my experience, anyway, and I know I can’t be the only one who isn’t landing their dream job or travelling the world. It is doing nothing for my sanity to always see everyone else’s educational, work and personal success filling up my newsfeed, so I’ve deleted the Facebook app from my phone entirely.

It’s not that I’m not happy for each person; they all work hard and deserve their own success. But at the moment it serves as a distinct reminder that I am utterly unsure of where my life is going. That even thinking about my future makes me feel anxious. I am also very aware I shouldn’t be worring about this right now; I’m 22 there’s loads of time. But somehow my worry only increases. 

I have always been someone who had a goal to work towards, but since completing my degree last summer I have hit a crossroads, and I don’t know which path to follow. No matter how many jobs or Masters I look at and apply for nothing is truly igniting that spark of passion I know I have.

That is what’s devastating me; the indifference.

Except, paradoxically, I do care. And the confusion continues.

So I have a small plan.

Right now, I want to take some time to work on things that I enjoy. To start setting myself a different type of goal, and rediscover that promise I made myself in January to do something positive and productive each day. I want to find and focus on what is going to make me happy right now, and hope that it leads me down the right path in the long run.

New mantra


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A Taste of Corporate Life

As with many recent graduates (I hope), I have spent the last few months trying to work out; what’s next. Do I want to go straight into the workplace, or should I feed my desire for knowledge further and go back to education?

I am currently working part time in a retail job, which is great because it gives me some pennies to spend and some time to research what I want to pursue.

But it’s not utilizing my skills or the specifics of my education.

A couple of weeks ago, my university’s careers centre asked if I would answer some graduate career questions about how my degree is relevant in my current role. The short answer is; it’s not. However, this forced me to reconsider how best to understand what I do want to achieve in terms of career prospects.

 

What better way than first-hand experience!

 

Last week I spent two days shadowing my sister, Sarah, in the London offices of corporate giant, IBM; an great experience, which came at exactly the right time! The perfect opportunity to learn a little of what it would be like to have a career that fully utilised the skills I learnt at university; both specific to my degree and transferable.

Cognitive Queen badge

Cognitive Queen

Helping Sarah with her ‘to-do’ list meant that I was completing tasks towards the output of the Marketing, Brand and Communications team she is a part of. Simultaneously fulfilling my own New Year’s resolution promise to do something measurably productive each day.

I wrote paid social copy for IBM’s projects and collaborations, including the work of their ‘cognitive’ technology, Watson (redefining everything I know about cognitive from a psychological perspective). Watson technology is working towards improving patient experience in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and is being developed for other applications, from cancer detection to the next generation of fitness trackers. Move over, FitBit!

As the cherry on top, I have since learnt that the work I did has been approved for publication, so I can add it to my CV towards experience gained for future employment!

Throughout the two days I also spent time learning about other aspects of the business and different roles from Sarah’s contacts; listening in on meetings, calls and having one-to-one talks with people from across marketing.

This made the whole experience invaluable as I gained multiple perspectives and understood a little more about the different types of marketing, across both traditional and digital channels.

To those who took the time to speak to me, thank you.

 

Unbelievably, a week has now passed since my time in London! Given my attitude towards returning to the land of retail afterwards, it is safe to say that I did choose the right degree, despite my recent reservations.

 

Now it is down to me to retain my productivity, achieve a place on that Masters course, and smash this week’s job interview. So that next time the university calls about that degree I’ve spent thirty grand on, I can say for certain that it was right choice and relevant in my career.